Before a packed room on Tuesday, the Bucks County Commissioners and county row officers were sworn into office for their four-year terms.
Commissioners Bob Harvie, a Democrat from Falls Township; Diane Ellis-Marseglia, a Democrat from Middletown Township; and Gene DiGirolamo, a Republican from Bensalem Township, took the oaths of office with their families standing beside them.
The three commissioners are beginning their second terms with Democrats in the majority. Democrats hold the majority of row offices, including all the row officers inaugurated on Tuesday.
Returning Treasurer Kristian Ballerini and Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans Court Linda Bobrin, both Democrats were sworn in for second terms. Newly-elected Coroner Patti Campi and Clerk of Courts Eileen Hartnett Albillar took the oath of office.
At a reorganization meeting later in the day, the commissioners appointed Ellis-Marseglia as chairperson, Harvie as vice chairperson, and DiGirolamo as secretary. Last year, Harvie served as chairperson.
Ellis-Marseglia said she was 47 when she first became a commissioner and now she is 63.
“I am guessing I have that aging in place thing down,” she joked.
The longtime elected official said she’s taking a look back at her life and her family’s area roots dating back to the 1800s.
“I first want to focus on making sure that we can sustain the changes we made in mental health, and the changes that we are going to make in treatment for both mental health and substance abuse,” she said. “I also want to also make sure that our co-responder program, and our community relationships with police officers is institutionalized.”
Ellis-Marseglia said working with Harvie has been her favorite period in office. It also is the first time there has been a Democratic majority in recent history.
Looking to the future, Ellis-Marseglia stated she aims to focus on her strengths and will continue to strive to improve Bucks County.
In the new term, Marseglia plans to focus on environmental issues, climate change, and housing attainability in Bucks County, she said.
Harvie said he will continue to work to make Bucks County better and serve the people who live in the county, no matter how big the challenges are.
“This country was not built or sustained by people who shied away from those challenges,” he said. “We didn’t win a revolution with that attitude. We didn’t save this nation in the Civil War with that attitude.”
“The oath I took a few moments ago binds me to work for all the residents and taxpayers of this county – whether you voted for me or not,” Harvie declared.
DiGirolamo said there are difficult issues facing county government and Democrats and Republicans need to work together to get things done.
The veteran public official, formerly a state representative, said he strives to follow the example of his grandfather, a Bensalem Township farmer. He said his grandfather instilled “what was important in life” and pushed him to be a hard worker, be determined, and to keep his word.
“I remember those things, and I try to live my life like that. I try my best to live how he told me,” DiGirolamo said.
Singer-songwriter Don McCloskey, of Bristol Borough, performed the “National Anthem,” “America the Beautiful,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
The commissioners will hold their first full meeting of the new term on Wednesday morning at the Administration Building in Doylestown Borough.