Birmingham recognizes Conklin

Birmingham Township Supervisors Scott Boorse and Michael Shiring recognized fellow Supervisor John Conklin during Conklin's final meeting on the board. Conklin served 12 years as a supervisor and chose not to run for a third term. John Daniel Hill will replace him in January.

During the Dec. 4 Board of Supervisors' meeting, Boorse reflected on his association with Conklin, saying they met 16 years ago as members of the Recreation, Parks and Open Space Committee, then served on the Planning Commission together. They ran against each other in the 2005 Republican Party primary for the nomination for supervisor.

"I lost," Boorse said. "I think I got 13 votes and John had 95."

Birmingham Township Supervisor Scott Boorse, left, presents outgoing Supervisor John Conklin with a memento of appreciation for Conklin’s years of service to the township.

During his tenure, Conklin handled the township's 325th anniversary and led Birmingham through two Battle of Brandywine re-enactments. Boorse also said Conklin was instrumental in getting PennDOT to understand one of the major concerns the township had for the Route 926 Bridge replacement.

"John questioned some of the processes that PennDOT was doing because they weren't going to address any of the flooding issues at the time. John stressed, wholeheartedly, that needed to be addressed. If taxpayer money was going to be spent, we should address all the issues. Six years later, we got what we needed," Boorse said.

Additionally, Boorse gave Conklin credit for helping to preserve the Odell and Sullivan properties in the township and for keeping township taxes low.

For his part, Conklin looked around the room and joked, "I thought there'd be more people here to make sure I left."

Conklin followed that statement by saying he is proud to have served and that regardless of disagreements people might have had with him, everyone always remained respectful.

"I'm particularly thankful for the residents in the township who were always courteous, and were always respectful of the jobs that they gave us even when they were very upset, even when we could not give them the answer they wanted…That's quite a credit to the township," he said.

The board also recognized Nancy Bush, the township's longtime tax collector. Bush has served in that capacity since 1982, but Birmingham chose to use Chester County as its tax collector beginning next month. Township Manager Quina Nelling said tax bills would likely go out in February instead of March as had been the case.

Other business

• As Pennsbury Township supervisors did last month, Birmingham supervisors last night voted to prohibit mini casinos from operating in the township. State law allows major casinos to operate mini-casinos, but municipalities have the right to prohibit them within their jurisdiction.

• The board also adopted a budget for 2018 with no tax increase. Township property taxes remain at 1.6 mills. A mill is a tax of $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.



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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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