My name is Natasha Bagchi, and I want to represent you on the Horsham Council.
15 years ago my husband and I built our first home here in Horsham because this community was where we wanted to raise our children.
A lot has happened in the years since:
- We’ve discovered that contamination in the soil at the Naval Air Base has caused our water to be contaminated with toxic chemicals, and we are paying to fix it
- Long-time corporate residents, including Toll Brothers, are leaving Horsham for neighboring municipalities, taking tax revenue and jobs with them
- The status of our school district has dropped and now ranked 180th out of 603 in the state
- Community quality measurements like ‘walkability scores’ identify imperative areas for improvement: the walkability score for Horsham is a very low 23;
- This year, our taxes will increase by 20%
Researching these and other issues, I have discovered that details on topics like the plans or status for the remediation and future development of the air base are very hard to find. Horsham residents deserve to have a clear idea on the planning, goals and projects that the council is working on. Horsham lacks transparency, and I want to lead the change and fix that. Council and other committee meetings need to be remotely accessible to residents, planning and decision documents needs to be accessible on the internet and residents should have the opportunity to weigh in in a fair way.
In addition to transparency, there are many areas were we have opportunities to improve Horsham Township, and by becoming a more inclusive governing body, together, we can make positive change
Let's rethink economy: We can reduce the future tax burden on residents by incentivizing businesses to commit in Horsham and grow even more in Horsham. To achieve this we need to be more strategic about development and more effective with the dollars we devote to attracting and retaining business residents in Horsham. Horsham residents will face a 20% tax increase this year based on a budget approved just before the winter holidays.
Let's rejuvenate Horsham: With diligent planning and clear objectives, we can push for progress and modernize Horsham by doing simple things like adding bike lanes on streets and building sidewalks to increase our walkability score and developing park and ride-shuttle busses to the Septa stations nearby. Council agrees that we need to focus on attracting Millennials, however one of the largest residential development projects taking place in Horsham today is a 55+ community. We need to step up that vision: It's time we start appealing to younger generations because they are the future of Horsham.
Let's get shovels in the ground at the Naval Base: Contaminated soil at the base is the root cause of the contamination of our drinking water, This contamination has slowed the redevelopment plan intended to provide new green spaces, a town center, and housing for new residents. Aligning stakeholders to accelerate the remediation of the base lands and launching the NAS-JRB Willow Grove Redevelopment Plan would give residents a “Main Street” and generate powerful revenue to invest in the quality of life for families living in Horsham.
Let's be a welcoming community: Studies show that communities that have a common town center tend to have a stronger sense of community, safer environment for children and better schools. I want to develop ways to retain our younger residents and attract new residents, making Horsham the place to live.
I am running for council because I care about Horsham and I believe I can make Horsham more holistically attractive for everyone. As your council member, I will work collaboratively and rapidly across the Township to pick up the pace and move us all forward.