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After Incumbents Sweep Election, Lower Merion Commissioners Keep Leadership in Place

Democrats Liz Rogan and Paul McElhaney were unchallenged for president and vice president.

began its 2012 term Tuesday night with the same members after all seven incumbents . The members decided to eschew change in leadership, too.

Ward 7's Liz Rogan stayed in the presidency and Ward 3's Paul McElhaney, a fellow member of the Democratic board majority, remained the vice president. Ward 11 Republican Lew Gould cast the only dissenting vote against each.

On Tuesday, there were no nominations for either position, unlike last year.

When the presidency and vice-presidency became vacant with the resignations of members Bruce Reed and Mark Taylor, the minority Republicans nominated Ward 5's Cheryl Gelber to both positions and Ward 1's Dan Bernheim (who had joined the board minutes earlier) to the vice presidency.

Both commissioners , but Gelber in falling just short of the presidency.

Half of the 14 members took the oath of office after winning November's election. The other half have 2010-2014 terms. Democrats hold 10 seats and Republicans have the other four.

Bernheim and Ward 13's Brian McGuire prevailed after being appointed to replace resigned members in 2011. Gelber and Gould were unopposed. McElhaney, Rogan and Ward 9's George Manos won contested races for their re-election.

Jane Dellheim of Ward 8 nominated Rogan for the presidency, saying, "They say when you want to get something done, you ask a busy person. I don't know how she does it." McGuire seconded the nomination.

After her election, Rogan laid out an optimistic vision for the year, saying, "I hope we can work together productively to preserve the quality and character of this township that we love."

Manos nominated McElhaney, a fellow Bala Cynwyd representative, partly because of his finance and construction expertise. Bernheim seconded, telling the audience, "I've had from Vice President McElhaney Municipal Finance 101 on several occasions," and calling McElhaney a good "backup quarterback ... better than (the Eagles') Vince Young."

McElhaney called his re-election to the leadership post "truly an honor and a humbling experience."

Also Tuesday night, the board reappointed Gilbert High Jr. (solicitor), Edward P. Pluciennik (engineer) and Lita Indzel Cohen (Vacancy Board) to their posts.

The board meets again at 6 p.m. Wednesday for three committee meetings: PoliceHealth, and Building and Planning. (Follow the links for committee agendas.) Tuesday's meeting lasted about 50 minutes, far shorter than a typical board session.

Selma Davis January 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Of course they did. There was not one challenger to the incumbents that was worth a single vote. But wait until the next election and the citizens realize how the commissioners have "done us in" with their waste of taxpayer money. Then, perhaps, some young, vibrant, intelligent challengers will step up and the comfy-cosy commissioners will do their jobs and look out for the rest of us.

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