Archive of posts for November, 2011:

Montgomery County is in for some changes

Posted by admin on Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Karen Heller, Philadelphia Inquirer Consultant, writes:

Montgomery County’s commissioners have enjoyed a Republican majority since anyone can remember, and they remember it wrong anyway, thinking the GOP came into power in 1875. But the first two three-official administrations were controlled by Democrats, I learned from the county historical society’s Jeff McGranahan. In 1881, Republicans James Burnett and Hiram Burdan took charge, and there was no turning back.

Until now. Montgomery County, long a bedrock of the state GOP, is going blue. In January, Democrats Leslie Richards and State Rep. Josh Shapiro will assume the majority, the latter becoming chairman. Eminently quotable Republican Bruce Castor, the former swaggering county D.A., will be the lone holdover from the current three-ring circus, which has provided continuous entertainment for four years but less effective governance. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release: Shapiro, Richards choose Fox to lead transition

Posted by admin on Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Montgomery County Commissioners-elect Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards have named attorney Robert D. Fox to lead its transition team as they prepare to take over the reins of county government.

“We are ecstatic to have someone of Robb’s caliber leading our preparations to assume the responsibility of governing the third-largest county in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said. “Robb is universally respected for his knowledge, integrity and ability to relate to people.”

Richards, who has already undergone a governmental transition in Whitemarsh Township, which included a change in political parties, said Fox was “uniquely qualified to lead this transition team. No matter how cooperative the parties may be, there will be at least a few rough spots, and I know Robb will handle those with his usual professional aplomb.”

Both Shapiro and Richards said that the current administration of Jim Matthews, Joe Hoeffel and Bruce Castor have been extremely cooperative since last Tuesday’s election, which produced the first Democratic majority in over 140 years in Montgomery County. “Commissioner Matthews and his colleagues have gone out of their way to be cooperative,” Richards said, “and that is so important since there is a lot of work to be done and preparations to be made.”

Fox is the managing partner of Manko, Gold, Katcher, Fox, a law firm specializing in environmental and energy law.

Fox has over twenty-five years of experience providing compliance counseling for business and industry regarding hazardous and municipal waste regulations, Superfund matters, water regulation, and storage tank issues He also has experience in assisting with the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions and real property development, including brownfield redevelopment and wetlands, storm water, and sewer capacity permitting.

Fox is the chairman of the Lower Merion Zoning Hearing Board, and the former chairman of the Lower Merion Planning Commission.

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead this historic transition,” Fox said. “I have great respect for Josh and Leslie, as well as the incumbent commissioners, and I look forward to making this a smooth, seamless transition and one of which the people of Montgomery County can be proud.”

Fox said additional members of the transition team would be appointed in the coming days and would represent the county’s diverse electorate and would have an equally diverse interest in various segments of county government.

Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Endorse Shapiro and Richards

Posted by admin on Thursday, November 3, 2011

Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards, the Democratic candidates for Montgomery County commissioner, have received the endorsement of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.

This is the second major environmental organization to endorse Shapiro and Richards in the campaign. Earlier, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Group of the Sierra Club endorsed the pair.

Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania is an organization that works to elect leaders who understand the importance and urgency of protecting our environment.

“The citizens of Montgomery County deserve clean water, safe air and green open spaces that protect their quality of life,” said CVPA Executive Director Josh McNeil. “Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards have the experience and the commitment to keep Montgomery County and its families healthy.”

In announcing its endorsement, CVPA said, “with the right commissioners in charge, the Montgomery County Commission has the potential to significantly improve the health of the environment for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. As supervisor of Whitemarsh Township, Leslie Richards has led important efforts to improve stormwater management and to preserve the Erdenheim Farm – one of the great open space successes in recent years. As a state legislator, Josh Shapiro maintained an excellent environmental voting record and championed important conservation legislation like Growing Greener 2.”

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania,” said Richards. “The preservation of Erdenheim Farm is the signature accomplishment of my time as a Whitemarsh supervisor, and I look forward to being able to do similar projects as a Montgomery County commissioner.”

“Protection of the environment has been an important part of my work in the legislature and the endorsement by the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania is a distinct honor,” Shapiro said. “As a Montgomery County commissioner I will work hard to continue the county’s open space program and continue to develop the planned trail program throughout the county.”