January 4, 2012
Bucks County Commissioners, Row Officers Celebrate Inauguration Ceremony 2012
As beams of late morning sunshine pierced the large glass window panes of the Bucks County Courthouse rotunda January 3, Commissioners Charles H. Martin, chairman, Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia began their second year together as the county’s governing board. For Chairman Martin, the swearing-in ceremony was his record sixth as a commissioner. Prior to taking the oath of office from the Hon. Rea B. Boylan, the chairman was sworn into the commissioners’ office in 1995, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. He proudly noted that Bucks County is the “envy of many other counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” highlighting the county’s Aaa bond rating, its aggressive open space preservation program, its new Veterans Discount ID Card Program, its just-updated Comprehensive Plan, its ongoing Justice Center construction, and its recently opened Lower Bucks Public Safety Training Center.
Commissioner Loughery, who was appointed to the board last February before winning re-election during November, 2011, thanked a crowd of more than 200 that included his wife, Kathy, and his daughters, Grace, Evelyn and Amelia, for “being a participant in Democracy.” With reference to his second oath of office ceremony in the last 11 months, he quoted baseball great Yogi Berra: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Like Chairman Martin, he took the oath from Judge Boylan, who emceed the 40-minute event on behalf of President Judge Susan D. Scott.
During her second inaugural ceremony, Commissioner Marseglia cited the new four-year term of election as “a new beginning for me.” She spoke of general public frustration toward the government, particularly the state and federal levels. “It makes more sense that confidence is going to need to be re-born from local leaders and percolate up to Washington,” she stated for an audience that included her daughter, Katelyn, and her parents.
Also taking the oath of office on this first Tuesday in January were new Register of Wills Donald Petrille, Jr. (the Hon. C. Theodore Fritsch, Jr. officiated), Coroner Dr. Joseph P. Campbell (the Hon. Albert J. Cepparulo officiated), Clerk of Courts Mary K. Smithson (the Hon. Donald Nasshorn officiated) and Treasurer William R. Snyder (the Hon. Albert J. Cepparulo officiated). Chairman Martin pointed out that this was Mr. Snyder’s ninth time taking the oath of office. Judge Cepparulo quipped: “I don’t know that there has ever been another treasurer (in Bucks County). He is an iconic symbol of fidelity to the county.”
Chairman Martin extended his appreciation to the William Tennent High School Madrigal Singers, who performed stirring renditions of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful. He spoke of paying careful attention to the county’s three basic constituent groups – residents, those who use Bucks County government services, and employees. He shared a quote from one of his favorite historical figures, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, about the importance of optimism. “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” Like Commissioner Loughery, Chairman Martin’s words included a quote from Yogi Berra, who once remarked: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”
Commissioner Loughery focused his remarks on the new, unexpected and changing demands that county government confronts on a daily basis. “We must be the masters of our times, not its victims,” he stated. He described himself as tired of waiting to see when and where economic recovery will begin, preferring instead to tackle tough issues and ignite an economic renaissance right here in Bucks County. “I want it to begin on our watch, and I am convinced the future lies in our hands, if we have the courage to shape it,” he added. Commissioner Loughery praised the county for its position of strength, which includes an “excellent and dedicated staff.” He also issued a call to action, stating: “There is probably no better time in our county’s recent history to make the hard adjustments necessary, as difficult as they may prove, to be ready for the future challenges.” He concluded by expressing his commitment to working collaboratively with Chairman Martin and Commissioner Marseglia to be the “best stewards of taxpayers’ money.”
Commissioner Marseglia reflected on her first four-year term, expressing the hope that this board will be “three officials with an equal role, moving forward with the people’s faith.” She explained her perspective of the board’s dynamic: “Charley, Rob and I seem to be able to laugh at and with each other. I think that makes us better at governing. I am hoping we talk more, and share more… we have an appreciation for each other’s skills. As we move forward, my colleagues have my support. I want to stand with them.”
Further analyzing her role on the board, she added: “When I came here four years ago, I was new to the role, and you were all new to me. Now I have the privilege of experience.” Four benefits of that experience include knowledge that “information is truly the key, you must continue to look at the big picture, the commissioners can make lives better through the choices they make, and that people are inherently good when given the right tools.”
For an audio account of the 40-minute Inauguration ceremony, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org.