Dear Chatham Township neighbors,
My name is Phil Ankel and I’m running for Chatham Township Committee because I’m both proud and worried. Having lived in cities and towns around the world, I’m proud to say that Chatham Township is a world-class place we should cherish and take care of. But I worry that past Township Committees haven’t strategically planned for Chatham’s future and because our politics are just too angry and divisive.
“Strategic planning” may seem boring, but it’s an important topic for a community like Chatham. I think we can do better.
- The Township Police and Meyersville Municipal Buildings are old and in need of repair. Our police, municipal employees and Chatham residents deserve better.
- Township recreational facilities (Colony Pool, our field complexes, Castle Park and pocket parks) are key resources to be supported. The potential loss of Noe Pond reinforces the need for us to foster community spaces.
- In 2018, the prior Republican led Chatham Township Committee entered into a settlement agreement that called for the construction of 74 municipally sponsored affordable housing units. But it didn’t save the money to pay for that commitment and offered up locations that engendered community opposition. The current (and future) Committees are dealing with the consequences, while operating under the shroud of litigation from the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) and the community.
To address Chatham Township’s future, we need community-based leaders who bring strategic, financial and legal perspectives to the role. I work as the head of North America audit at an industrial multinational where I review financial, operational, IT and legal risks in that company’s multibillion-dollar North American business. By background, I am an attorney. I take public service seriously, having worked for the federal government on national security topics for nearly ten years.
Since coming to Chatham Township, my family has immersed itself in the community. Our oldest graduated from Chatham High School and is now a sophomore at the University of Chicago. Our twins are rising seniors at the high school. All three of our kids have lifeguarded at Colony Pool, gaining work experience while my wife Albie and I enjoy the beautiful outdoor space. I serve on the Vestry Committee at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, along with our twins. I am a proud supporter of Troop 28, home to my son’s Boy Scout Troop and my daughter’s Venture Troop.
In a Township of 11,000 residents with an operating budget of about $17 million, we must be able to conduct our elections and our Township Committee meetings with civility and respect – as neighbors. For too long, that hasn’t been the case –Amee Shah and I intend to change that. There will be disagreements, no doubt. But not angry and personal attacks on other Committee members or our neighbors.