Commissioner Jane Dellheim is retiring from the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners after 12 years, the Ward 8 commissioner told Patch on Friday.
Dellheim, who has represented South Wynnewood and East Ardmore since 2002, will retire when her term is up in January 2014.
Dellheim sent Patch the following email in response to several questions about her departure, including the reason for her retirement, what she considers to be her greatest accomplishments as a commissioner, and who she will be supporting as Ward 8 commissioner in the upcoming election.
I'm retiring because after 12 years I'd like to move on and give someone else a chance. I'm a grandmother now and I want more time with them and my hobbies.
My greatest accomplishments were also my most challenging: the establishment of a group home for mentally challenged adults, obtaining a federal grant and of course, the creation of Linwood Park.
Being a commissioner carries a lot of social work with a little bit of power to get things done for your constituents to make them happier and safer.
I will miss that, though I have no plans to move and can still be involved in other ways. I will really miss learning new things about municipal government-- how it all comes together to provide for the needs of the 60,000 residents, the roads, the parks, etc., etc. And I will miss working with the best Township staff ever.
Frankly, I never thought that anyone would want to do this after the past several years of grandstanding, browbeating, vitriol and deceitfulness that have become de rigueur on the Board--on and off the camera and even by email! My Republican colleagues even hired a lawyer to threaten me with a lawsuit for exercising my right of free speech in a letter to the editor of the Main Line Times.
In late September I recruited Anna Durbin of Ardmore to run. It took her a while to say yes. Anna is an attorney in her own practice in Ardmore. She lives and works in Ardmore, so she understands the delicate balance between the residents and the businesses. She has also been involved with the Ardmore Initiative. She is a natural social worker also, so all the residents of Wynnewood, Havertown and Ardmore will be well represented.
Another person, Jonathan Shapiro, a Democratic Committeeman, is also running. He is a good person and highly regarded in his neighborhood.
Six other Lower Merion commissioners have terms that expire in January, including Commissioners Rick Churchill (Ward 14, Penn Wynne and Wynnewood) and Steven Lindner (Ward 4, Ardmore and Haverford).