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Montco Candidates On WNPV

wnpv_politicsThe two Democrats and two Republicans competing for three seats on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners faced off Thursday on the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest.

State Representative Josh Shapiro is on the Democratic ticket along with Whitemarsh Township Supervisor Leslie Richards.  He said there is no need to raise taxes, but there is a real need for reform, and the centerpiece of their plan is Zero-Based Budgeting.

“The problem with county government is that over the years it’s like they have wallpaper on the walls, and instead of stripping it off and starting fresh they just keep putting more wallpaper on top of more wallpaper on top of more.  We need to start fresh.  Zero-Based Budgeting allows us to do that.  It says to every expenditure, every program, ‘Let’s begin at zero.  Let’s ask the tough questions that need to be asked about whether or not a program works and whether it ought to be funded,’ and at the same time do aggressive auditing and aggressive efficiency reviews to make sure that we’re not wasting funds.”

Shapiro said there are many ways to make county government more efficient.  Incumbent Commissioner Bruce Castor is on the Republican ticket along with Lower Merion Township Commissioner Jenny Brown.  He said Zero-Based Budgeting is just a slogan, and the county needs more than that to close its $42 million budget gap.

“The cause of this disastrous condition is multifold, but the primary one is this borrow, borrow, borrow, which then has changed the county operating budget so the largest line item is debt service, which has gone up astronomically, so we’re talking about a very severe situation.  Now, I like to say Rome didn’t burn down in a day, and it’s going to take more than a day to straighten it out, and it’s going to take more than slogans.  It’s going to take a good, hard look at programs the county doesn’t need.”

Castor said the first thing he will do if elected is get rid of all the programs he voted against over the last four years.  Brown said she has never advocated or voted for higher taxes.  “I worked for six years in Lower Merion.  I have always found ways to reduce spending, and I have never supported a tax increase, and I spent about 30 hours a week, especially during budget time, finding ways to reduce the spending, so I think we should look at actions and understand that people who addressed situations with taxes and increased spending and increased debt are most likely to address problems in their next office in the same manner.”

Brown said their Democratic opponents have both voted for tax increases in their current jobs, but Richards said their pledge not to raise taxes is firm, and she has a proven record of giving residents what they want without raising taxes.

“In Whitemarsh Township we have never raised property taxes for our residents while preserving open space, while funding and constructing millions of dollars in stormwater improvement projects, while expanding our libraries.  We’ve been able to look to creative and innovative funding solutions, public-private partnerships, which the commissioners are going to have to do in the next four years.” Richards said she’s a project manager at a civil engineering firm, and she believes the county can save a lot of money on managing the hundreds of contracts it puts out every year.
WNPV AM 1440 Consumers Feeling More Secure as 2014 Flies By NEW YORK, September 23, 2014 -- With the holiday season fast approaching, Americans say they're feeling more financially stable, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. 81% of employed Americans report that their jobs are more than or just as stable as one year ago (up significantly from 69% in 2011). The outlook is picking up, but still less than half of consumers expect finances to change for the better in the next six months (45% vs. 39% in 2013). An increase in stability could signal a higher willingness to spend, as nearly three quarters of consumers (73% vs. 66% in 2013) say they're spending as much or more than they expected on life's little extras, like fashion accessories and leisure activities. Large & Small: Where Americans Are Spending it All With less than four months to go in 2014, more Americans say they're planning to make large purchases before the end of the year (62% vs. 51% in 2013). Additionally, more consumers report having already purchased big ticket items this year (42% vs. 39% in 2013).
Penn Foundation Listen to Darryl Berger's interview with Judy Collins on today's Comment Please by Univest! WNPV AM 1440
September 26, 2014 - Comment Please, By Univest wnpv1440.com WNPV AM 1440 - Radio Station in Lansdale, PA 215-855-8211
WNPV AM 1440 Shoppers Need Cross-Channel Integration, Too by Steve Smith, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 Cross-channel, omnichannel, multiscreen: Call it what you will. Marketers are scrambling to track consumer across this increasingly fragmented terrain of devices and touchpoints. Integration, seamlessness, connecting the dots: Call that what you will, too. Marketers are trying to knit it all together for themselves. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that consumers most of all are the ones who need to “connect the dots,” find cross-platform seamlessness, etc. American consumers have been very good at jerry-rigging modern technology to serve purposes the gadget inventors never imagined. How many of use are still emailing articles to ourselves from handsets simply because publishers don’t make it easy for us to save content for perusing in-depth on the screen we like? The same is true for shopping, where people evolved a host of their own cell phone tricks to use in store, from showrooming to sending snaps to spouses from the cereal aisle to confirm this is the brand Junior wants. Marketers have not been able to keep up with and serve the habits people are developing ad hoc out of the technology that has been handed them. People, perhaps more than marketers, need seamlessness and cross-channel integration. According to a new survey of 1,000 grocery shoppers with devices, for instance, 45% of moms said they craved most the ability to clip coupons and add deals and promotions directly to their store loyalty card. Forty percent of dads agreed. The survey was conducted by Gannett’s local digital marketing company G/O Digital. The path to purchase is clearly elongated and multiscreened. For instance, the pre-shopping phase of looking for sale items on desktop or device before leaving the house is important to 40% of moms and 30% of dads, but more often the pre-shopping phase is occasional and driven by curiosity about a specific product or category. Interestingly, only 19% of moms and 26% of dads say they go right to the store without prep and intend to look up deals in the venue. But this pre-shopping is critical, as 59% of moms and 51% of dads agree that the sale items they find online strongly influence the supermarket they choose. Whether, when and how social networks actually influence shopping decisions has been a controversial issue for years. But when it comes to users interacting with brands, the G/O survey makes clear that Facebook is far and away the place to be. More than half (55%) of moms and 47% of dads say Facebook is the channel they find most useful in interacting with brands, compared to 7% for Pinterest, 5% for Twitter and 1% for Instagram. But keep in mind that a third or more of consumers say there is no channel they find useful for engaging with food or beverage brands. In terms of actual influence on purchase decisions, consumers seem mixed on the power of social nets. Most say it doesn’t influence decisions at all or that it may be important but is only part of a larger process of research. But again, integration could be an important element in the influence of social media. The Facebook feature that would be most likely to propel a purchase is an offer than can be redeemed at a local store. While 53% of moms agreed this was most important, 41% of dads thought so. In-store device use is still an evolving habit, however. Only 19% of moms and 16% of dads feel it is very important for them to look up circulars and promotions in the aisles. A larger 36% to 37% of parents say instead that this access is somewhat important and that they are more likely to purchase a product if they find a deal on their handset. Localization is key. When asked about the most frustrating part of mobile advertising and promotion for food and beverage items, 35% of moms and 29% of dads both cited most often that promotions are not locally relevant to the products or the prices that are in the store. I would argue also that it is the local inaccuracy and lack of reliability in local mobile couponing that inhibits the platform’s use. There is nothing more aggravating or embarrassing than presenting a coupon at checkout and having it declined because of its small print provisions or inapplicability to that locale. For mobile couponing in particular, this is an issue. Many coupon-scraping operations are not geo-fencing offers, but pull in anything and everything they can find. This makes for in-store disappointment that consumers don’t forget. The G/O survey suggests that consumers will use mobile promotions if they are confident in the seamlessness of the experience. Steve Smith is the Editorial Director, Events at MediaPost where he oversees all OMMA and Insider Summit event content. He is also the longtime Mobile Insider/MoBlog columnist for Mobile Marketing Daily. A recovering academic who taught media studies at Brown and University of Virginia, he spent the last decade as a digital media critic for numerous publications and as a digital strategy consultant. He also writes for Media Industry Newsletter and eContent magazine.
WNPV AM 1440 The balcony tickets for the Jimmy Fortune concert are now gone. You can still win general admission tickets, though, by listening to Darryl Berger from 6 AM til 9 AM weekdays.
WNPV AM 1440 While Darryl Berger is giving away General Admission tickets to the Jimmy Fortune concert on October 18th at Penndale Middle School during the "AM Edition," we have 10 pair of Balcony tickets available for the first 10 people to "Like" this posting. Tickets can also be purchased at Bishop Fencing and Outdoor Products in Souderton, or at Lin's Junction or Henning's Trains in Lansdale. Proceeds benefit the North Penn Volunteer Fire Company.
WNPV AM 1440 Tomorrow is the 3rd Saturday of the month! Tune in at 11 AM for "Premium Coverage" with Mike Bruckner!

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