Monday, February 28, 2011

Women on the Bucks County Board of Commissioners

I've written previously about the number of Bucks County commissioners who were appointed as opposed to elected. This evening I'd like to look at the history of women who have been elected to the Bucks County Board of Commissioners.

This is a relatively recent phenomenon. The first woman elected to that office was Republican Elaine Zettick, in 1979, taking office in January, 1980. She and Andy Warren were the majority commissioners. Carl Fonash was the Democrat on the board. Prior to being elected to county office Zettick was a Middletown supervisor from 1977 to 1979; she served one term on the Board of Commissioners. (English, 4/02/2003).

As Zettick was leaving the board another woman was coming in. Lucille Trench, a Democrat, was elected in 1983 and took office in January, 1984. Trench served until 1991 when she left the board to join Gov. Casey's Crime Victim's Compensation Board (Portnoy, 11/06/2007).

The third woman to serve as a Bucks County Commissioner was Democrat Sandy Miller, appointed in 1991 to serve out Lucille Trench's term when she resigned. She stayed in office until losing the 2007 election. Miller's nearly 17 years on the county board is the longest recorded term in office (Schlatter 1/10/2008).

Again, as one woman left another was elected. Democrat Diane Ellis-Marseglia was elected in 2007 and took office in 2008. (full disclosure -- Marseglia did an interview on this blog in 2007). She is up for re-election this year. No other women are running.

For thirty years Bucks County has had one woman on the Board of Commissioners but never more than one; they have served sequentially. Interestingly all have lived in Middletown.

Coming attractions: Tomorrow we'll take a similar look at women on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners (I'm still untangling Delco so it will be later).


English, Chris, "Ex-Commissioner Zettick dies," Intelligencer April 2, 2003.

Portnoy, Jenna, "Ex-Commissioner Lucille Trench dies," Intelligencer November 6, 2007.

Schlatter, Petra Chesner, "Commissioner Sandra Miller marks end of her four terms," Bristol Pilot January 10, 2008.

No comments: