Democrats John Mack and Dennis Fisher won their primary elections to the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors May 21 with Mack garnering nearly 1,000 votes, more than any other candidate, Democrat or Republican.
Fellow Democrat Dennis Fisher, who was appointed last summer to finish the term of Supervisor Jenn Dix, grabbed 918 votes. The two ran unopposed in the primary.
T.J. Butler (662 votes) and Dan Boyle (634) won the GOP nominations and will face the Dems in the general election in November.
“I received a lot of comments from people who said they like my efforts to keep residents informed,” said Mack. “I believe the voters in the township appreciate that.”
In the 2017 general election, Mack defeated former Republican Supervisor Gerry Couch, who had been appointed the year before to fill the term left vacant by Mike Gallagher. Two years ago, Mack took 2,721 votes while Couch collected 2,145 votes.
Fisher ran unsuccessfully for supervisor in 2007 but was elected township auditor in 2017. He stepped down from that spot last year when he joined the Board of Supervisors. He had previously held posts in the Planning Commission and the Environmental Advisory Council.
He is currently more closely connected to the township’s Finance Committee and was recently instrumental in helping that group garner a $40,000 matching funds grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Fisher recently retired from a career in a mental health profession.
Mack holds advanced degrees in chemistry and biochemistry and is retired from a career in pharmaceutical publishing. He was instrumental in creating the Newtown Human Relations Commission, introducing the anti-discrimination ordinance that established the agency. Fisher believes that economic development is the most important issue facing the township. He affirms the DCED grant will help the township plan multi-year budgeting strategies.
“We expect a tough election campaign,” he said. “If history teaches us anything, it’s going to be a close race and could be decided by a dozen or two dozen votes.”
Mack likes his chances in the general election and thinks some voters will cross party lines to vote for him. He won the last general election in 2017 along with Board Chairman Phil Calabro and Vice Chair Linda Bobrin, though the latter two won’t face re-election until 2023.
The lone Republican Supervisor Kyle Davis was appointed in 2014 to fill the void left by the departure of Matt Benchener and narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Mark Joseph in the 2015 general election after edging former Supervisor Rob Ciervo in the primary. He’ll face reelection in 2021.
In minor approvals, the board voted 5-0 May 22 to grant a Conditional Use Permit to MOD Pizza, a 2,800-square-foot eatery planning on opening a franchise at 2938 South Eagle Road in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center.
The shopping plaza is currently undergoing more than $35 million in renovations by landlord Brixmore Property Group.
The proposed eatery will seat a total of 113 diners – 83 inside and 30 more outdoors. While the township made sure its zoning officer signed off on the permissibility of outdoor seating at the location, Township Manager Micah Lewis confirmed that it was allowed at that location.
With more than 400 locations nationwide, MOD Pizza is a Seattle-based company that boasts pizza made on demand within minutes. Customers can add toppings from a list of 30 at no additional cost.
MOD Pizza will border a new Chipotle location that recently gained approval to open a new venue in the plaza. Iron Hill Brewery (2920 S. Eagle Road) is also coming soon to Newtown and the supervisors have approved liquor license transfers for proposed Eagle Road eateries Solstice, Bomba Tacos and Rum and Steak Bar by Shula’s.