Township Council Says Goodbye To Ted Chase

Longtime Councilman Chose Not To Seek Re-Election.

Township Councilman Ted Chase, seen in this file photo, was honored at the December 14 Council meeting, his last.

Township Councilman Ted Chase (D-Ward 1) was honored by his Council colleagues and members of the public at the December 14 meeting, Chase’s last.

Chase, who has served on the governing body since 2010, opted to not seek re-election last month and will leave office on December 31.

Chase has volunteered for the township in various ways for decades. In addition to his Council work, he has been a member of the township Planning and Zoning boards, as well as a number of committees.

The Council’s environmental warrior, Chase has said that he hopes he can continue working on environmentally related boards.

“I have enjoyed being on the Council,” Chase said. “Being able to speak up about something and have attention paid is always gratifying, but it’s all been in the service of the people, particularly the people of the First Ward, but also the whole township.”

“My Council service comes after many years of service on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and then on the Environmental Commission and Planning Board from 1996 through 2009, so I have been involved with township business for a long time and I hope to continue through the Environmental Commission even after I step down from the council,” he said.

Mayor Phil Kramer noted that he and Chase were voted onto the Council at the same time.

“He’s been a hard worker politically and also as a Councilman,” Kramer said. “One of the highest honors I can pay you is that you are not a politician, you are a statesman. He knows more about politics than all of us, but he is the least political of all of us.”

“It’s been an honor to work with you and I thank you for understanding my Revolutionary War references,” Kramer said. “Someone had to.”

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17) also popped into the Council meeting to pay homage to Chase.

“It’s been 26 years that I’ve had the pleasure of being your friend, often your student and always by your side,” said the former township Democratic Party chairman.

“We served together on the Planning Board for 14 years, most of those years were very difficult and busy, to say the least,” Danielsen said. “You protected our township, our community, our environment, our history and our government.”

“Though you never asked for any leadership positions, you were often recruited to fill them,” Danielsen said. “Our township has greatly benefited from your knowledge and your experience.”

Danielsen had a proclamation for Chase from the state Assembly, which, he said, “recounts many important accomplishments that denote your commitment, your contribution and sacrifice over many, many years, all for the benefit of people who work in Franklin, live in Franklin, and visit Franklin.”

“My life has been greatly enriched to be able to sit with you, watch you and know that you’re out there,” Danielsen said.

Deputy Mayor James Vassanella (D-Ward 5) said that Chase’s “understanding and commitment is basically unparalleled in this town.”

Chase, he said, has “a value that we may not even realize for decades to come. Thank you for what you’ve done and thank you for what you will continue to do.”

Township Councilman Carl Wright (D-Ward 4) said that he would carry on Chase’s legacy of environmental stewardship.

“As he leaves, it’s up to me to become the next green machine,” he said. “If you build it, it better have open space. If it doesn’t, I’m coming after you because Ted Chase told me to.”

Wright said that he was “grateful” for Chase’s vast knowledge on many topics.

Township Councilwoman Crystal Pruitt (D-At Large) said that she has been “very lucky to have been able to serve with him on this Council, and I’ve always admired his deep historical knowledge about our township, as well as his operational knowledge.”

“It will definitely be a loss for this body,” she said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to get to know you, as well as serve with you.”

Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois (D-At Large) thanked Chase “for volunteering your time and your talent for the many many years you’ve served Franklin Township.”

“Franklin wouldn’t be the place it is if it wasn’t for you and your stewardship,” she said.

Township Councilwoman Shepa Uddin (D-Ward 2) said that in the short time she’s served on the Council, she could “see the value and the knowledge sharing that you’ve done. I’m sure I will be in touch to learn about some things in the background, as I have in the past.”

“Thank you for accepting my calls and giving me your insights,” she said.

“I would like to thank Councilman Chase for his mentorship and for our shared interest in Franklin Township history,” said Township Manager Robert Vornlocker. “It’s been something I have had an interest here since my first day working here.”

“On my birthday every year, I will think about the fact that we share a birthday, and I will find some way to wish you a happy birthday,” he said.

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