MEDIA–Delaware County council members shared their final remarks and their well wishes at the last meeting of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Newly elected council members and will join incumbents Mario Civera Jr. and reelected council member in 2012, filling the vacant seats of council members , Christine Fizzano Cannon and Andy Lewis.
Note: Councilman Lewis was absent from Tuesday's meeting due to a medical reason.
Council Chairman Jack Whelan Moves on to District Attorney's Office
Whelan, who will be moving on to the District Attorney's seat next year, shared his memories while serving on the council for two four-year terms since 2005.
"It's certainly hard to believe that six years have gone by from the time I first took office as councilman," shared Whelan at the council meeting on Tuesday. "But certainly over those six years I feel privileged and honored to be able to serve the residents in Delaware County."
Whelan also showed his humor as well as credited his colleagues on the council for their hard work.
"I think when you come to county council, there are two things that really stick out that you learn. First you learn, 'Thank God I have a parking space,'" joked Whelan. "And secondly what you learn is that all of the people here on county council, through the years, are dedicated. They're dedicated to the residents in Delaware County. They work tirelessly each and every day for the betterment of everyone here in Delaware County."
Whelan was presented with a jacket representing the county's Department of Justice and a few words from his co-council members.
Fizzano Cannon: "You [Whelan] are certainly one of the finest people that I know. And it has been my sincere pleasure to serve with you and under your chairmanship. You are going to be an excellent district attorney, and the county and citizens are truly blessed that you have chosen to continue your public service in that capacity."
McGarrigle: "He's responsible for the Delco Alert...pandemic plans...the 911 Center. He was always concerned about public safety. He helped form the county's Veterans Board. And it goes on and on. But Jack [Whelan] has really been a true leader. He was a great chairman of the county council and I know we'll have a terrible loss on the county council losing Jack as a chairman but he's going to be in the District Attorney's Office for their gain."
Civera: "Jack Whelan...one of the most elaborate men I've met. And I've come across a lot of people who can get up on their feet and speak instantly, and get a cross to the crowd exactly what they're thinking in a short amount of time. Jack is a master of that. As a district attorney, he will be a real asset to the county."
Council Vice Chairwoman Moves on to Court of Common Pleas
Fizzano Cannon, who was elected in November as one of the five judges chosen for the Court of Common Pleas, also shared her reflections on the board since she was first elected to a council seat in November of 2007.
Fizzano Cannon thanked the administration, her colleagues on the council as well as the county department heads.
"Together, we've been able to accomplish many things–some of them have been small and some of them have been large," said Fizzano Cannon. "Of course the formation of the Environmental Advisory Board that first led to our municipal grant program and other energy projects for the county, improving the county website, implementing electronic filing for the judicial system of the civil section of the Court of Common Pleas, and, of course, we can't forget the acquisition of Mineral Hill which was a favorite project of mine and one that would not have been possible without my friends from Middletown Township."
Fizzano Cannon was presented with a gavel and a few words from her co-council members wishing her well on her judgeship and as a new mother of twins.
McGarrigle: "Christine [Fizzano Cannon] was always prepared, always had her notes ready for us. She was so organized and so I knew right then what a great council person she would be. And when you turn on a computer, everyone will know Christine was the one that brought our website to the 21st century. She worked on that right away, she helped us acquire the 46 acres of Mineral Hill, which added to our park system, she's responsible for any of our energy plans. Chrstine, you set everything out you wanted to accomplish you accomplished. I know you're going to be a great judge because you're such an organized person."
Civera: "In the path that she [Fizzano Cannon] took, in the little time that I've known her and served with her, you know, open space–the legislature dealt with that and debated it, put it on the ballot over and over and over, she carried her thoughts in a direct way and she determined what she was going to do for this county. That's not easy. And for her to set forward in that path and make that accomplishment, I was set back and I was extremely impressed by this. I think the Court of Common Pleas in this county...you're going to be an asset."
Councilman Andy Lewis Retires From County Council
Although Lewis was unable to attend Tuesday's meeting, the council members showed the public their departing gift for Lewis which was a Philadelphia Union soccer ball–signed by the players–and a Philadelphia Union scarf. Lewis was heavily involed in the construction of PPL Park, Philadelphia Union's soccer stadiu, that broke ground in 2008.
Lewis, who was elected to council with Fizzano Cannon and McGarrigle in November 2007, had previously served on the Haverford Township Board of Commissioners.
McGarrigle: "I had the pleasure of meeting Andy Lewis at our endorsement meeting in Feburary 2007, and right away when you meet Andy you realize Andy is a great businessman. And when Andy came on county council, Andy really used his business sense to get us through pretty tough times financially. One thing we learned from Andy is that you couldn't change his mind no matter what. But Andy was a man of great character and it was my pleasure to serve with him."
Civera: "I had the distinct pleasure–about 30 years ago–of serving with Marilyn Lewis, Andy Lewis' mom, in the State House of Representatives. Marilyn was a very conservative lady and Andy took right after his mom. Right after his mother, always wanting to know what the bottom line was. I enjoyed extremely well serving with him from Haverford. Andy's got a goal in his mind and the goal in his mind was the bottom line–he was a true businessman. There's no question about it. He was truly an asset to this Delaware County council and he will be missed."