The new Bucks County commissioners and row officers took their oath of office at a ceremony in Doylestown Monday. This is the first time Democrats have controlled the county government since 1988.
Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia is the new board chair. Fellow Democrat and former Falls Township Supervisor Chairman Bob Harvie will take his seat as vice-chair.
Former State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo will be the lone Republican commissioner. But all three voiced a need to work together.
“The partisanship, the deception, the animosity that I see between the parties and the groups and organizations on either side is more than a little troubling to me,” DiGirolamo said. “It’s actually very scary.”
Harvie, a teacher a Bucks County Technical High School, has taught history for 26 years. He commented on national divisions, and his view on how to heal them.
“We’ve been in places like this before, and we’ve survived because we worked together as a family. Because we cared for each other more than we cared about outside forces…And we cared about the future. I think we need to refocus on that, and I’m very confident moving forward that we…will not only make Bucks County the best it can be, but will improve our country as well.”
Marseglia was the minority party commissioner for 12 years before Monday. She called her experience good training on issues like public works, voting, and emergency preparedness.
“But two-thirds of the county’s work is social work, and I’ve been a social worker for 35 years,” she said. “So I know about mental incapacity and addiction and child abuse and trauma and homelessness. So today, I marry my role as a majority commissioner with my identity as a social worker.”
The four new row officers, elected in November, are all Democrats as well:
- Treasurer – Kris Ballerini, Upper Makefield Township supervisor and former bank manager.
- Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court – Linda Bobrin, Newtown Township supervisor and attorney.
- Coroner – Meredith J. Buck, registered nurse and attorney.
- Clerk of Courts – Brian Munroe, Warminster Township Supervisor and former police officer.