After 6-and-a-half years in office, Upper Moreland Ward 7 commissioner James McKenna has announced he will resign from the position, effective May 31.
The announcement came at the end of tonight’s Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners, during the commissioners’ comments.
“Serving as an Upper Moreland commissioner for the last 6-and-a-half-years has been an honor and a privilege,” McKenna said. “Due to health reasons, I will be stepping down as of May 31 2012.”
McKenna read from a pre-written statement in which he thanked his constituents for their support over the years.
In his statement, McKenna spoke of several changes that he took part in, during his Upper Moreland Political career, which include:
- Televising municipal meetings for broader public viewing
- Reforming redistricting plans to prevent gerrymandering
- Increasing the Zoning Hearing Board membership from three to five, which he said was to ensure fair treatment of residents and businesses
He said he was also glad to have been able to support candidates in the county and throughout the state in which he said he believed would make positive contributions.
“This was not a decision that I arrived at easily,” McKenna said, adding that he spent considerable time reviewing the decision in regards to himself and his family.
“I will remain a concerned citizen interested in the issues that affect our community,” he said.
Sitting commissioners, including Ward 6 commissioner Sam Valenza and Ward 5 commissioner Kip McFatridge spoke up to give quick words of thanks to McKenna for his time of service to the community.
Immediately after the regular board meeting, the board of commissioners entered into executive session.
McKenna’s announcement came as a surprise to many at the meeting’s attendance.
“The party had no idea,” Nick Scull, chairman of the Upper Moreland Democratic Party, said after the meeting. “It was a surprise.”
McKenna made his first public appearance as a newly switched Democrat at the April 12 former president .
At that rally, McKenna told Patch that he had switched due to his opinion that the board mishandled its supervision of the during its time of transition.
According to Scull, it is likely that the board will appoint a Republican to replace McKenna.
Wards 1, 3, 5 and 7 will be up for open to election next year for the term that starts in 2014.
As of this time, it is unknown what health reasons caused the Ward 7 commissioner to make the announcement.