Township honors outgoing commissioner, welcomes new members

by Ayla DiBattista
Posted 2/22/24

The annual organizational meeting of the Springfield Township board of commissioners was held on Jan. 2, with Jim Lee unanimously reelected as president.

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Township honors outgoing commissioner, welcomes new members


The annual organizational meeting of the Springfield Township board of commissioners was held on Jan. 2, at which it is required by township code to either extend certain commissioners' terms or replace those positions with new members.

The first order of business was unanimously reelecting Jim Lee as president of the board. The recent retirement of Baird Standish left the role of vice president vacant. Therefore, Susanna Ratsavong was nominated and approved to be the 2024 vice president of the board. Finally, Michael Taylor was reappointed as township secretary and manager.

Magisterial Judge Kate McGill issued the oath of office to two new commissioners: Beth McNamara and Edward Morris.

McNamara is the new Ward 1 commissioner, an area that encompasses parts of Flourtown and Erdenheim. She has been a Springfield Township resident for 35 years and has led various events at her children's schools as well as served on local and national boards.

Morris now represents Ward 5 as a commissioner, which covers a large portion of Wyndmoor, where Morris resides. He is an attorney and real estate broker and has served as a member of the Recreation Center Advisory Board since 2023.

Recycling report

In November, Springfield Township recycled 182.5 tons of material with a household participation rate of 64 percent. Throughout 2023, 2,007.2 tons of single-strain recyclables were recycled, 92.4 percent of projected tonnage. The average household participation rate was 61.7 percent with an average of 15.6 pounds per stop.

The board would like to remind residents that recycling and refuse containers cannot be larger than 32 gallons. Oversized and overweight containers present a hazard to employees and increase the risk of injury. Correctly sized containers can be purchased at any hardware or home improvement store. Recycling containers are for sale at the Springfield Township Administration Building between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for $25 each.

Resolution 1625

This month, the board unanimously passed Resolution 1625, a motion to honor Commissioner Baird Standish, for his 20 years of service to Springfield Township as a commissioner. They acknowledged Standish's outstanding leadership and his ceaseless efforts in every township initiative he participated in. Coincidentally, that very night, the board renewed his appointment to the Historical Commission as an alternate member.

Standish was presented with a plaque not only from the board but also from State Rep. Napoleon Nelson.

December business

At the township's December meeting, the police department reported that it had earned accreditation through the 18-month Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

Chief Michael Pitkow remarked how proud he was of the department's hard work and how pleased they were to join the ranks of some of the most accomplished agencies in the state.

This program ensures that police departments evaluate their policies so that the department follows the best practices in law enforcement. Since its implementation in 2001, only 300 out of the 1,200 departments in the state are enrolled, and only about 160 departments have reached accreditation, a rate of about 15 percent.

LED streetlight project update

Before September 2017, monthly streetlight usage was 51,862 kWh (kilowatt-hours). Since the original replacement, 57 more lights were added in March 2019, and in the second quarter of 2022, some Bethlehem Pike ornamental lights were converted to LED lights.

The project has saved the township $146,249 to date with an average savings of $20,892.73 per year and an average of 29,008.71 kWh reduction over the past seven years, officials said.

Trails and connectivity plan

At the November meeting, the Trails and Connectivity Plan was formally approved by the board of commissioners. The board said the goal of the plan is to better connect neighborhoods, parks, schools and other places of interest within the township.

Cisco Park playground

After more than 20 years, the Cisco Park playground is undergoing renovation funded by a combination of local funds and grants awarded to the township. The swings and other equipment will be replaced to accommodate children of all abilities.

Additionally, the board of commissioners approved a request from the Springfield Rotary to donate a pavilion and picnicking area at Cisco Park in memory of William P. Piszek, a longtime Rotarian and Springfield Township resident.

Budget 2024

The 2024 budget was approved by the board of commissioners at the Dec. 13 meeting and can be viewed on the Springfield Township website.