Abington commissioner resigns
On Aug. 1 state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-153, announced her resignation from the Abington Township Board of Commissioners effective Aug. 15.
Dean was elected to the board in November 2011 and began her term Jan. 3, 2012, according to Abington Township Manager Michael LeFevre.
Early this year Dean was elected state representative of the 153rd Legislative District after winning a special election in April to fill former state Rep. Josh Shapiro’s vacancy after he resigned to become Montgomery County commissioner.
In a recent letter sent to the residents of Ward 7, Dean said the reason for her resignation from the board was a result of scheduling conflicts.
“I’ve found that this duality [as both township commissioner and state representative] has an unworkable drawback, namely that I can’t be physically present, as required, in both Abington and Harrisburg when important commissioner and legislative sessions are scheduled at the same time,” she said. “To date, I have been able to attend meetings on both levels, but going forward I see conflicts arising and my absence at either would not be fair to you.”
On Tuesday Dean said she had thought about the decision and said she did not want to “short change” residents of Ward 7. She said she made the decision in the best interests of the residents.
Nick Mattiacci, the Republican candidate for the 153rd District seat, said in a press release that Dean’s resignation shows her failed commitment to Ward 7.
“Prior to the April 24th Special Election, Ms. Dean promised that, if elected, she would maintain her seat on the board of commissioners and continue to represent the residents of Ward 7 who elected her just nine months ago,” Mattiacci said. “Now, just three months into her tenure as state representative, where she currently is on recess from Harrisburg until late September, she has informed her constituents in Ward 7 she no longer wants to represent them.”
When asked if she made a promise to keep her seat on the board of commissioners Dean said that she did not know what Mattiacci was referring to nor felt obligated to respond to his comment.
“I get to stay committed to Ward 7 at the
state level … and I have committed myself to becoming the best legislator I can be,” she said.
LeFevre said the board has 30 days after Dean’s resignation to find a replacement.
“This means they [the board] have to begin [searching] immediately,” he said.
Abington board of commissioners President Carol DiJoseph said the process of choosing a candidate lies in the domain of Ward 7. She said that usually both Democratic and Republican leaders in the community discuss a potential candidate and then present a candidate before the board.
She said board has until Sept. 15 to fill the vacancy and as of this time she has not heard any word from Ward 7, nor does she know its plans.
DiJoseph also said she was not surprised by Dean’s resignation.
“When she was elected in April or May she made a general announcement that she was going to test the waters,” she said. “In a recent phone call I had with her she told me she could not literally do both jobs here inAbington and Harrisburg.
“I think she has done the best she can do … we did not get the chance to know her that well on the board, but we wish her well.”