by Brendan Sample

At the latest Chestnut Hill Community Association Board of Directors meeting, Chestnut Hill Local Publisher John Derr outlined his plan to obtain a $150,000 line of credit for the paper. This credit would ultimately go toward enhancing the Local’s operations and would be overseen by a committee consisting of CHCA directors and members of the Local’s board.

Derr spoke to the Board about the successes the paper has already had in his three months with the Local, including the revenue brought in through the new front-page banner ad and being able to have distribution to all of Chestnut Hill on Thanksgiving Day. While these early initiatives have cost little money to enact, thanks in part to sponsorship of the Thanksgiving Day mailing, Derr said he is planning other measures that will require funding. He said he is confident those investments benefit both the paper and the community in the long run.

“I’ve been in the newspaper industry for almost 30 years, so I’ve seen a lot of mistakes made that I could do nothing about and I’ve seen the industry zig when it should’ve zagged,” Derr said. “I’m very confident that everything we’ve laid out here is very doable. It’s just the first wave of things that are doable, because as we grow and as we take these revenue numbers and grow them, there’ll be other opportunities to do other things.

“There’s an opportunity here that not very many communities have, and that is to grow a newspaper. I don’t think you’re going to read about many communities where their newspaper is thriving, and this newspaper is in a position to do just that. Because of this community and because of the enthusiasm for this community, the Local has a great chance of bucking every trend and growing immediately.”

Though several board members took time to ask questions and clarify certain details, the board as a whole was ultimately supportive of Derr’s initiative. Outside of two members abstaining from a vote, a motion to support the Local’s efforts to obtain this line of credit passed unanimously.

Annual Appeal

Providing an update on the Annual Appeal, Kathi Clayton and Susan Bray unveiled a new logo for the campaign, which they hope will help to galvanize efforts to meet their goal of $100,000 by the end of the fundraising period. With the Appeal approximately 20 percent of the way to completing its goal, Clayton and Bray asked for the Board’s continued support as they begin making another significant push toward meeting that goal. There was also discussion of possibly copyrighting the logo so that it could ultimately be placed on a variety of Chestnut Hill-themed merchandise items.

Marilyn Paucker, Vice President for the Social Division, provided figures from last month’s Holiday House Tour, as 886 tickets were sold for the event. Official figures on the money raised from the tour are still being finalized. She also outlined several event dates for 2019, including Hoops Madness (March 23), the Great Houses Tour (May 19), the Black and White Gala (Oct. 19) and this year’s Holiday House Tour (Dec. 7).

In the Physical Division, the Board officially approved Christopher Linn as the newest member of the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee. With prior experience as a planner and having already sat in on several LUPZ meetings, Linn’s membership proposal passed unanimously.

Brendan Sample can be reached at 215-248-8819 or