April 21, 2011
Commissioners Visit Special Equestrians of Warrington for Bi-Monthly Meeting Filled with Proclamations and Presentations
The Board of Bucks County Commissioners visited a very unique member of Bucks County culture for its April 20 business meeting, traveling down Rte. 611 to the Special Equestrians of Warrington. In the spirit of the occasion, Chairman Charles H. Martin and Commissioners Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW proclaimed “Special Equestrians Day” throughout the county. It was one of four proclamations issued by the board, along with the approval of 27 contract resolutions involving 10 county departments.
With a range of horses that included the 25-year-old Ben whinnying in the background, the commissioners saluted Special Equestrians of Warrington for its community service mission. The organization, founded in 1982 by Ms. Kathy Quinn, began with one horse, one rider and one volunteer in a backyard farm. Today, 167 clients are involved in six distinct programs. The complex includes indoor and outdoor arenas on more than 40 preserved acres. For more information about programs and/or to volunteer, please visit the Special Equestrians website at www.specialequestrians.org.
Another proclamation went to the Archbishop Wood girls’ basketball team, which captured its second consecutive PIAA Class AAA championship last month. The girls enjoyed visiting the horses at Special Equestrians, and Chairman Martin enjoyed proclaiming the day “Archbishop Wood Girls’ Basketball Back-to-Back State Champions Day.” The Lady Vikings were represented at the meeting by seniors Christine Verrelle, Victoria Arnao, Stephanie Keyes, Jenna Swope, Aubrey Howland, Caitlin McCartney and Grace Mirack. Over the last two years, Archbishop Wood compiled a 53-9 overall record under the direction of head coach Jim Ricci and assistant coaches John Gallagher, Kasey Oczkowski and Cait Slover.
Commissioner Loughery proclaimed April 23-30 “Infant Immunization Awareness Week” throughout the county with the help of immunization mascot Bee Diddy – whose mascot advice to all populations is “Bee cool, Bee wise, Bee immunized.” During 2010, the Bucks County Health Department administered 7,873 doses of vaccine to children 18 and younger, including 1,514 specifically administered to those 24 months and younger.
Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia issued the fourth proclamation, “Foster Parent and Volunteer Month,” in recognition of the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency. The agency currently has 344 children in its foster care program, an effort that includes 183 homes. On Thursday, May 5, the Bucks County Foster Parent Association will celebrate its 16th annual Foster Parent and Volunteer Recognition Dinner. The event will be held at Spring Mill Manor in Ivyland.
The contract resolution portion of the meeting included eight approvals for General Services. Among them was an amendment to provide vehicular traffic improvements for the Bucks County Justice Center, against which Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia voted. She also motioned to have an evaluation of the county’s recent fleet and staff reorganization be presented at a June Commissioners’ Meeting. Commissioner Loughery seconded her motion, while Chairman Martin voted against it. The board also approved six various contracts for automotive parts and tires for the county’s 223-vehicle fleet.
The board also approved a $188,000 bid award for phase two of the Parks & Recreation restoration of the hurst frame at Stover-Myers Mill. According to county Executive Parks & Recreation Director Bill Mitchell, this phase will make the mill operational again. It is being funded by a combination of a Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission Preservation grant and federal Community Development Block Grant monies.
The commissioners subsequently agreed to a contract amendment to extend the outside settlement date with Toll Brothers for a property in Upper Makefield Township to December 31, 2011.
During “Other Business,” Commissioner Loughery noted that he grew up in Warrington Township. He praised the Health and General Services department for recent visits he conducted to their respective offices. He also pointed out the county’s strong financial position in an era of federal and state cutbacks. “It has to do with the way we run things,” he added.
Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia asked General Services Director Jerry Anderson to place an E-Verify system approval on the next agenda. That resolution will address the upcoming construction of the new Justice Center and eligible workers.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler reminded attendees that the county will offer more than two dozen locations for the DEA Drug Take Back Day scheduled for Saturday, April 30. He said his office is close to making a recommendation on members of a committee dedicated to the reuse of the current Courthouse/Administration Building. He also stated that county finance officials are closely monitoring the state budget. Mr. Hessenthaler then introduced Mr. Steve Vegoe of Atlantic Communications, who recently unveiled the commissioners’ “image book,” Life in Bucks County Pennsylvania. The 52-page glossy magazine is available through the Commissioners’ Office of Public Information.
Chief Clerk Lynn Bush reported on two upcoming public meetings dedicated to the county Comprehensive Plan. They will take place on Tuesday, May 3 from 7-9 p.m. at the Quakertown Library (401 W. Mill St., Quakertown, 19851) and on Tuesday, May 10 from 7-9 p.m. at the Levittown Library (7311 New Falls Rd., Levittown, 19055).
Dennis Livrone, co-chair of the Bucks Employees Green Initiative (BEGIN) Committee, provided an annual report of the committee’s activities. He emphasized the county’s ongoing commitment to reduce, recycle and reuse as a routine part of its operations. The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at Pennsbury Manor in Morrisville. For a complete audio account of the April 20 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.