Adolph bids col­leagues farewell on state Capi­tol floor

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Kath­leen E. Carey kcarey@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @dt­busi­ness on Twit­ter

The chair­man of the state House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee stood be­fore his col­leagues Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon and told them how he did it his way for al­most three decades in the state Capi­tol.

“I must ad­mit it feels a lit­tle strange up here,” state Rep. Wil­liam Adolph, R-165, of Spring­field, said. “I re­ally can’t be­lieve it. Af­ter 28 years of watch­ing and ad­mir­ing close to 150 to 200 other friends and col­leagues say their farewell ad­dress, it’s now my turn.”

Adolph be­gan his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer be­ing ap­pointed Spring­field town­ship com­mis­sioner in 1983 af­ter the foot­ball coach com­plained about the con­di­tion of the play­ing field at North Av­enue Park. Five years later, he won the state House seat for the 165th district, rep­re­sent­ing Marple, Rad­nor, Spring­field and Mor­ton.

“I have many fond mem­o­ries of my time in Har­ris­burg,” he shared as he touched upon work­ing on var­i­ous com­mit­tees, with mem­bers from dif­fer­ent par­ties and home­towns. “I hope that I’ve made a pos­i­tive im­pact for my con­stituents ... as well as res­i­dents through­out this com­mon­wealth. I also find it re­ally hard to be­lieve that this kid from Delco born and raised in south­west Philadel­phia has had the op­por­tu­nity to serve in the House.”

Adolph’s farewell ad­dress was at­tended by fam­ily mem­bers, his wife Deb­bie and two of his three sons, for­mer state Reps. Nicholas Mi­cozzie and Mario Civera, as well as for­mer Spring­field GOP leader Char­lie Sex­ton, the man who he pinned as re­spon­si­ble for him tak­ing the seat.

“‘Bill,’” Adolph said Sex­ton asked him, “‘how would you like to have a nice part-time job in Har­ris­burg? (It) won’t in­ter­fere with your home life or you coach­ing your foot­ball or your busi­ness.’ And, I be­lieved him.”

Af­ter some chuck­ling about how he no longer coaches foot­ball and his limited time at home, Adolph turned to Sex­ton and said, “Char­lie, thank you be­cause this has been the most re­ward­ing part of my life. Thank you.”

He re­called ques­tion­ing his ap­point­ment as chair­man of the House En­vi­ron­men­tal Com­mit­tee upon his ar­rival in Har­ris­burg.

“I couldn’t quite un­der­stand why be­cause I was the least se­nior mem­ber,” Adolph said. “I think the more se­nior mem­bers of the Repub­li­can cau­cus did not want to deal with (for­mer state Rep. Camille) “Bud” Ge­orge, (D-74, of Houtz­dale) on a daily ba­sis.”

Now, chair­man of the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, he took a mo­ment in his 31-minute speech to ac­knowl­edge its staff.

“These men and women are some of the bright­est folks that we have in Penn­syl­va­nia,” Adolph said. “They spend end­less hours ev­ery week – bud­get time, week­ends. And this has been a tough time.”

He thanked those who worked in his own of­fice, in­clud­ing a high school friend, Jean­nie Smyth, who’s worked in his of­fice for more than 20 years.

“She’s there through thick and thin,” Adolph said. “We’ve all had tough con­stituents come into your of­fice ready to take our heads off for one is­sue or an­other but af­ter five or 10 min­utes with Jean­nie calm­ing them down, be­ing who she is, all they do is say, ‘Tell Bill I said hello.’”

Among the many leg­is­la­tors with whom he worked that he rec­og­nized, he ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the Delaware County del­e­ga­tion.

“To my Delco reps,” he said, nam­ing them all, “we’ve al­ways been able to put our po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences aside and do what’s best for Delaware County.”

Af­ter the ad­dress, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, R-28, of McCandless, praised his de­part­ing col­league.

“You have kept a fine eye on the de­tails on the op­er­a­tions of gov­ern­ment, its debt load, its rev­enues, its ex­pen­di­tures and have helped each and ev­ery one of us un­der­stand the pri­or­i­ties with which to spend the hard-earned dol­lars of our ci­ti­zens,” he said. “You’ve done it in a fair man­ner and you’ve al­ways done it with class, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and with re­spect and dig­nity. We are go­ing to miss you. You’ve been a good friend.”

As Adolph’s term ex­pires Nov. 30, he plans to spend more time with his wife, his 91-year-old fa­ther, his sons and his five grand­chil­dren.

“I have promised (my sons) that with my re­tire­ment from the Leg­is­la­ture, their chil­dren will see Pop more than they did,” he said.

Yet, be­fore he re­tired from the podium, Adolph ac­knowl­edged the peo­ple he’s rep­re­sented, the ones who sent him there for 28 years.

“I was just think­ing the other day – I’ve met pres­i­dents, I’ve met gover­nors, U.S. se­na­tors, U.S. con­gress­men, am­bas­sadors,” he said. “I was given that op­por­tu­nity by my good friends and neigh­bors in Delaware County, the 165th District ... I wanted to thank them for that op­por­tu­nity of do­ing things I’d never thought I’d have the op­por­tu­nity to do.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

State Rep. Wil­liam Adolph, R-165 of Spring­field, de­liv­ers his farewell ad­dress Wed­nes­day to col­leagues in the state House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Har­ris­burg.

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