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The Next Best Thing to a Voting Booth
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor

        Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro, Leslie Richards and Bruce Castor were welcomed by more than 100 business people and guests at a luncheon last week in Pennsburg.  The event was sponsored by the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce.

        It's important that we take every opportunity to welcome the county officials to our region whenever we can.  After all, Castor is the only elected row officer who hails from north of Route 202.  Providing opportunities for and welcoming them to this beautiful area of the county provides us with an opportunity to share issues and concerns with the decision makers.  And it provides the opportunity for the commissioners to share information with us regarding the future of the "upper end."

        Among other things, Shapiro shared the status of the sale of the human services building (formerly Sacred Heart Hospital) in Norristown and Parkhouse in Upper Providence Township.  The former is complete; the latter should be completed soon.

        In the case of the human services building, Shapiro stressed that the space is underutilized by the county and the maintenance is a strain on the budget.  For Parkhouse, it was earlier noted that the facility loses millions of dollars each year that needs to be subsidized by the county taxpayers.  In the talks leading  up to the sale, the commissioners continuously emphasize that it would only be sold to a group with a proven track record in patient care.

        Richards spoke about county infrastructure needs and the plans to address them in the near future.  Castor spoke about the progress in replacing the county's aging emergency communications system.  All were informative topics concerning Montgomery County today.

        Folks in our area will get another chance to converse with the commissioners when they come to the Grand Theater in East Greenville on February 24 at 7 p.m. for another of their public "Conversations with Your Commissioners" sessions.  A similar event was held at the Upper Perkiomen School District Education Center last year and was well attend by locals.

        One request that the commissioners had last week is that all residents take the opportunity to provide them with input on the new county comprehensive plan.  It will be a plan that will take the county out to the year 2040.  If you have something to say about the future, let them know.

        Taking the survey is easy.  You can take it online or request a printed version to complete.  Just visit for all the details.

        Whether you're concerned about the present status or future plans of Montgomery County, or if you just have a question you want answered, attend the Conversation with Your Commissioners on February 24. 

        By the way, attending the event will also allow you to hear others' questions and concerns.  Sometimes you may think that you're all alone on a certain concern.  By attending, you may find out that you share certain issues with many friends and neighbors.  And there is strength in numbers.

        It's the next best thing to a voting booth.







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