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End Of An Era: Commissioners Fete Retiring Planning Commission Director/Chief Clerk Lynn T. Bush During June 7 Meeting

Lynn Bush receives retirement violets (the county flower) from the Commissioners and COO.

For the last 18 years, Lynn T. Bush served as the executive director of the Bucks County Planning Commission during a time of unprecedented progress in a variety of areas, including land and open space preservation, economic development and trails/greenway planning. As Ms. Bush served in her dual role as chief clerk for the final time at a Commissioners’ Meeting Wednesday, June 7 inside The Barn at Tinicum, Commissioners Charles H. Martin, Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW celebrated her County tenure with a variety of gifts and kind words. They also proclaimed June 7 “Lynn T. Bush Day” throughout the county. Her last day of service to the County in her current role is June 9.

Chairman Martin read the commendation to Ms. Bush before the commissioners approved 37 contract resolutions impacting 14 County departments. All three commissioners thanked Ms. Bush for her exemplary service, Commissioner Marseglia adding that she considers her a mentor and role model. Chairman Martin recalled the day in 1999 when he and former Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick “went across the street (to the Bucks County Bar Association) and hired her (Ms. Bush)” for the Planning Commission lead. Commissioner Loughery thanked her for her assistance and expertise in many areas. In addition, Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler congratulated Ms. Bush and thanked her for her friendship. “Sometimes thank you is not enough,” Mr. Hessenthaler added, lauding his departing colleague’s honesty and hard work. “You have been great to work with.”

The Commissioners Proclaim Bucks County Wine MonthMs. Bush noted that she was only the third Planning Commission director in the County’s history. Among her greatest achievements are “real, permanent improvements” that have been made to communities throughout Bucks. The commissioners also presented her with an arrangement of violets, the official Bucks County flower.

The meeting opened with County Executive Director of Parks and Recreation Bill Mitchell welcoming a large crowd to the Barn at Tinicum. “This is a barn and it’s for all seasons,” Mr. Mitchell explained on a brisk spring morning. “This is the oldest County Park, donated by the Stover family. It hosts polo matches, camping, and weddings starting every April. There is an abundance of activities going on year round here.”

During the resolution portion of the meeting, the board approved two items for the Area Agency on Aging, eight for the Children and Youth Social Services Agency, and three for Housing and Community Development. The contracts also featured two big-ticket items, a five-year, $22.564 million contract increase and extension with Harrisburg’s PrimeCare Medical, Inc. to provide inmate health services through June 30, 2022, and a one-year, $27.379 million Human Services Block Grant Plan revenue request submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

The commissioners took a step to ensure that Ms. Bush will remain at the County’s disposal as a consultant, agreeing to a one-year, $75 per hour contract to that effect. Mr. Hessenthaler was appointed acting chief clerk until such time as a new clerk is named.

The Bucks 4 Kids Proclamation was presented and accepted by Nancy Taylor Larkin, members of the board, and a Bucks 4 Kids scholarship receipent.In the General Services realm, Commissioner Marseglia strongly objected to a $7,079, month to month lease amendment with Lower Southampton Township for District Court 07-1-06 on Desire Ave. in Feasterville. She argued that General Services should work with courts to close that facility, which will no longer be used for court matters, as expeditiously as possible. She ultimately voted no on the extension, which passed by a 2-1 margin.

The agenda also featured three Open Space items, including the 40.16-acre Purcell property in Springfield Township. The County will pay $281,120 for that Natural Areas Program grant for a tract that is part of the Cooks Creek Watershed. According to County Open Space Coordinator Dave Johnson, the property was appraised at $14,000 per acre and contains soils of “exceptional quality.” Also approved was a $269,605 Municipal Open Space Program grant for the 8.45 acre Hildebrand property in Lower Makefield Township. That acquisition will complete Lower Makefield’s funding from the 2007 Open Space referendum. The commissioners also approved a $135,000 Municipal Open Space Improvement Grant for upgrades to Trumbauersville Borough Park.

Commissioner Loughery issued a proclamation to the Tinicum Conservancy in recognition of its 25th anniversary. In that time, the Conservancy has enacted 115 property easements totaling more than 4,600 acres. Commissioner Marseglia issued a proclamation to the Bucks4Kids organization in recognition of its 26th anniversary of helping children in the Bucks County C&Y Foster Care system. Finally, Chairman Martin proclaimed June as “Bucks County Wine Month” in recognition of the eight members of the Bucks County Wine Trail. Joe Maxian of Sand Castle Winery presented the commissioners with four bottles of Sand Castle’s finest vintage.

The Commissioners present a Proclamation in honor of the Tinicum Conservancy's 25th anniversary.Chief Clerk Bush reminded residents that the next Household Hazardous Waste collection event will take place Saturday, June 17 (rain or shine) at the Upper Bucks Vocational Technical campus in Bedminster.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 1st Floor, 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the June 7, 2017 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.