Departing Commissioner: 'It's Really Sad to be Leaving This Ward'

Abington’s Ward 3 commissioner attends his last meeting.

Richard Gaglianese, the commissioner for Ward 3, said his goodbyes at the end of the Abington Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday night.

It was the commissioner’s last full board meeting, as he will be resigning Feb. 28 due to personal reasons.

"I want to take a little time just to thank a lot of people, it’s really sad to be leaving this ward," he said.

He thanked his family, neighbors, the township’s department heads and thanked his fellow commissions, adding that while they didn’t always agree politically, they were always respectful.

"This is a great township, with great people," he said. "We wouldn’t have this smooth operation we have without the departments and the people we have. The staff does the work and we sit up here and take credit for a lot of it."

The board and many in the audience gave Gaglianese an ovation after he spoke.

Gaglianese was a relatively new commissioner after defeating Democrat John Swanson in the November election. That crop of new commissioners included Madeleine Dean in Ward 7; John Spiegelman in Ward 11; and Thomas Bowman in Ward 15.

See the January 2012 reorganization story here. 

Lately, it seems there has been a lot of turnover on the board. Matthew Willis replaced now-State Rep. Madeleine Dean in September after she resigned as Ward 7 commissioner in August 2012. And more recently, Commissioner John Farren took the place of Carol DiJoseph, who stepped down in December. 

After the meeting, Gaglianese said he will still be living in the township and added that he will miss his post greatly. He didn’t rule out coming back to the board.

Victor B. Krievins February 08, 2013 at 12:33 PM
We will miss you Richard.
Marc Lombardi February 08, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Looking forward to hearing who his new Republican replacement will be. I mean, there's going to be a vote amongst the committee for sure, but you know and I know that a Republican will be determined to be "the best person for the job" after he meets with ATRO. What a joke.
James Key February 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM
And they're dropping like flies.
Betty Smith February 08, 2013 at 02:31 PM
I live in Ward 3. No one from the board has reached out to us to see if we have any ideas on who should replace the commissioner..or when they will do it.
John Monaghan February 08, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Marc, Apparently it's a joke when the Republicans pick a replacement, as required by law, who is in sync with the GOP members of the Board. I guess you can understand when we see the President select Jack Lew, Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebellius and Sally Jewell (see "A Jewell Who's Rough on Jobs" in today's Wall Street Journal) to run major departments in Washington, we think that is a joke as well.
John Monaghan February 08, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Betty, State law dictates that in these situations the sitting board must select a replacement within 30 days of the resignation, or else it is turned over to an outside agency to name a replacement. The model in place now has the elected Committee persons of the ward in question select a candidate from their ward as a replacement. The Commissioners then choose between the 2 persons who the parties select. The committee persons, elected by the voters in their ward, represent the people of the ward as far as that goes.
Steve Rappoport February 08, 2013 at 04:44 PM
John, apart from the non sequitur in comparing presidential cabinet appointments with township board replacements by party-line vote, I think that your inclusion of Kathleen Sebelius in your list of jokes tells more about you than about her. She was a most adept and popular Democratic governor of deep-Republican Kansas before becoming HHS secretary. I read the Washington Post every day, and she has never been mentioned (unlike some other Obama appointees) as having competency problems. You may not like her policies, but that is a different issue; she is carrying out the decisions of the President.
John Monaghan February 08, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Steve, Sebelius is almost certainly competent. An experieced governor should be a good manager of people and the mechanics of government. Her dictate that organizations of faith must bend their knee to the Federal behemoth strikes me as (1) either blind subservience to the mantra that all contraception MUST be paid for by someone other than the patient, even though the costs are ususally modest or (2) Callous disregard for the principle of religious freedom. I dare say that she, if Secretary of the Department of Education, would probably hesitate to ban a woman from entering a school to pickup a child without ever showing her face, i.e., full muslim garb, while at the same time insisting that nursing homes, Chick 'fil A, etc, must do whatever Uncle Sam says, shows that she belongs in the pantheon of liberal lions described in my earlier post. As far as non-sequiturs, it is generally accepted, that pure politics rules the day when a replacement is selected, regardless of the qualities of the 2 candidates, i.e., a Republican or a Democrat may have a better resume at the time of selection, so I couldn't list a local example of a Democratic appointment, since the Dems are in the minority on the Board.


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