Name: William H. "Bill" Stevens III
Occupation: Sports officials' coordinator for four collegiate conferences
Length of time living in Doylestown Borough: 33 years
What organizations and activities are you involved with locally?
American Legion Post 210, Guardians of the National Cemetery, Bux-Mont American Legion Baseball League, Doylestown O35 Softball League, Montgomery County Senior Softball League, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Professional Association of Volleyball Officials and USA Volleyball
Why do you want to serve on Doylestown Borough Council?
I have served a total of 15 years on Borough Council; 13 years (1998-2001) and 2 years (2010-2011). The longest tenure of any current councilperson. At the request of council, I have filled in for the late John Buckman since early 2010, and now have been asked (by Republicans and Democrats alike) to stay on for the remainder of his 4-year term. I consider this unpaid community service as one of my proudest accomplishments. My long experience on council - specifically, the public safety and finance committees - more than qualifies me to continue on.
The troubled economy has hurt many Doylestown businesses, and we’ve seen the closure of several longtime stores, including Maison du Cheese, Coffee & Cream, and Chico’s. What can or should Borough Council do to support the town’s businesses?
The loss of a handful of small businesses is not necessarily a barometer of "the economy." Assuming the "national and regional economies" are to blame, Doylestown hasn't suffered more than surrounding communities. We continue to welcome new businesses to town and have been very successful in that regard by fostering a hometown atmosphere, beyond being a "Philadelphia suburb."
The borough’s weekly police log is filled with alcohol-related incidents, ranging from property damage and theft to public urination, fights and more. Can or should Borough Council do more to protect people who live or own businesses near the downtown bars and restaurants? If so, what suggestions do you have and how would you implement them?
The large number of alcohol-serving establishments is problematic, but largely beyond the reach of Borough Council to control. That is, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has the ultimate ability to grant or refuse liquor licenses. Nonetheless, the Borough will continue to closely monitor each application and make recommendations to the PLCB as appropriate. Meanwhile, our police department has been successful in significantly reducing the number of such incidents.
What other issues would you like to see come to the forefront if you are elected to the board?
(1) Police Regionalization - It's an idea whose time has come. The merger of Doylestown Borough and Township, New Britain Borough and Township and Plumstead Township will unquestionably result in substantial cost savings and better police presence in each municipality and the Central Bucks region as a whole.
(2) Taxes and Spending - In my previous tenure on council (in the 1990s), I was instrumental in selling a liability - the sewer system - for a net reserve fund of $7 million, which still exists. This has enabled us to hold the line on local property taxes by using the income from this reserve fund to meet capital expenditures. Despite declining interest rates in recent years, we've still been able to maintain a solid reserve fund, unheard of in most small municipalities.