Morrisville Mayoral Candidate Goes On the Record
In a one-hour interview held in late August at a local Burger King with Lower Bucks Source, Noel Sperry, 52 made his pitch as to why he should be the candidate of choice for the voters of Morrisville in this November’s mayoral race.
Sperry discussed his candidacy, why he’s running, and what he thinks needs to be done in order for the borough to succeed.
Sperry began appearing at Council meetings, earlier this year, as his candidacy became official. He said his intent was since Mayor Rivella has been absent from council meetings, he wanted to demonstrate he’ll be a show up mayor.
Sperry, said Rivella has been missing in action for the last two years.
“He was elected to be there and he owes it to the community to be there for the term. And if you’re not going to do that, step down.” he said.
When you commit to doing something, you should be doing it, he added.
Sperry said his jumping into the race was a last minute decision he discussed with his wife and that was cinched once another candidate for the position dropped out of the race.
Sperry, who operates a real estate agency, and has also previously worked in telecommunications, said he would bring with him to the office of mayor, a well versed understanding of business and how to be fiscally responsible in all things.
The other important role a mayor has, is its overseeing the operations of the police and fire departments. Sperry said he thought he and Chief of Police George McClay see public safety in much the same way.
“The chief and I get along pretty well. I’ve spoken to him and we’re pretty much on the same page, in terms of wanting community engagement. At the core, “the chief wants what’s good for the town and although we don’t have a working relationship together per say, I look forward to doing so when I am elected” Sperry said.
As we were sitting there eating Burger King value meals, a Morrisville resident approached, asking “aren’t you the guy running for mayor? Can you tell me what they’re going to do with Williamson Park?”
Sperry answered the gentleman’s questions, turned back to the interview and said, the park development is a challenging issue.
He explained his position, saying that he is not looking to get rid of open spaces, but if there is a way we can still keep a beautiful park and have more rateable income coming in from businesses and residential parts of the development, that’s something I can support.
It would also keep taxes down, we don’t have a lot of money to play with, so it would deepen our monetary base, he said.
There is more to the design of this development, that has to happen in order for the project to get through. The levy still needs to be certified, he said and that approval will be huge for residents living in the flood plane who won’t have to pay untold amounts for flood insurance.
There are a lot of good things that can come from the project, besides the development itself, Sperry said.
“I’m leaning towards wanting the development to happen, but there are a few things that still need to be worked out with the developer. And we as a community can get that done together; Take the little league for example, we need them to come to the plate, and say this is what we want, how can we make it happen? Instead of, we don’t want any changes to the park.
If we have a nice space at the park location, Sperry said, families are more likely, after games to visit new restaurants and such, keeping the money here as opposed to those families leaving Morrisville and spending in other municipalities.
Morrisville is a great little river town that can be so much more. I want to help get to the day, where someone calls me and says “hey lets go down to the town square for dinner. Or hit Main Street, or Bridge Street because a new shop has opened that’s a must see. That’s what I envision, and hope for Morrisville. People coming here cause we’re a place to be.”
Although, the mayor’s role on council is advisory and informational in some respects, Sperry said, often except for in vote ties does the mayor have a vote. One of things he said he hoped to achieve as as mayor was to network with governmental officials and business leaders throughout the area.
“One of the first things I’ll do is become a member of Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce. Its important in so many ways to network with business leaders in the area. I also want to reach out to out our state elected officials to see if there is anyway we can solve some of the traffic issues we have in town.”
Of concern at the moment, Sperry said, is council’s move to add a earned income tax, which was voted down last year but brought back up on the agenda with a presentation at the August council meeting.
“I’ll just say this. Go back to the last time it (EIT) came up (November 16, 2020) and look at the votes by council members. That will give you an idea of where things are with this.”
Given the hypothetical, that there was a 4 to 4 tie and he was the tie breaking vote, Sperry said, I have a hard time with supporting this since the tax excessively impacts the residents. You’re going to take money from a person living in apartment, who is already struggling to make ends meet. I know the borough needs money. But there are other ways of raising cash, then implementing an EIT on residents. The borough needs to become more fiscally responsible and look into other ways of increasing income streams than by taxing its residents
“Its hard to be for something, when you don’t know how that money is being spent. Like will council reduce property taxes? They haven’t said what they want to do with the proposed money that would come in.
“That’s an idea I can’t support.”
Sperry said most of the answers to questions facing Morrisville is about “bringing people together” and coming up with really good ideas to put into play.
We can solve the borough’s issues by working together and putting political partisanship aside, he said.
For more information on the Sperry for Morrisville campaign please click here.
Lower Bucks Source has reached out to Brud Anderson to do a story on his candidacy for mayor and at press time, there has been no response from the candidate.