Newtown News Update

Welcome to the January 1, 2019, issue of Newtown News Update. Back issues and subscribing information can be found here.  If you do not wish to receive further updates, please use the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email.

The opinions expressed here are solely the those of John Mack and do not reflect the opinions of any other person or entity.

2018 Accomplishments

The following are some notable accomplishments of the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) in 2018. I am proud to have been involved in these decisions along with my fellow BOS members. I look forward to a prosperous and safe New Year!

Took Action to Enhance the Safety of Residents

  1. Hired a New Police Chief
  2. Passed a Gun Safety Resolution that calls for the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the United States Congress to enact laws to reduce gun violence.
  3. Commissioned a Fire and Emergency Services Study

Took Action to Fight Opioid Crisis

  1. Filed a Civil Action Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers. See survey below.
  2. Improved Tracking of Police Calls for Drug Overdoses and Narcan Use

Took Action to Protect Our Environment

Passed Newtown Resolution (Definition) 2018-R-10, which calls upon the Delaware River Basin Commission to “enact a complete and permanent ban on natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing and all related activities (including drilling, fracking, wastewater processing and discharges from and water withdrawals for drilling and fracking operations) throughout the basin.”

Practiced Fiscal Responsibility

Passed the 2019 Budget Without Raising Taxes

The proposed package, which was approved in a 5-0 vote at the Dec. 12 meeting, is a little more than three percent higher than the 2018 budget but includes no property or other tax hike.

Established the Newtown Township Finance Committee

Resolution 2018-R-12,  signed on March 28, 2018, states "It is the mission of the Finance Committee, in cooperation with the Board of Supervisors and the Township Manager, to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors related to matters associated with finance, budgeting, debt service, investments and long-range planning."

Established a Human Relations Commission

Newtown Township became the FIRST Township in Bucks County to pass an Ordinance (Definition) prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Ordinance becomes effective immediately upon the appointment of a Human Relations Commission by the Newtown Board of Supervisors. The Commission will handle complaints through a fact-finding conference with the parties of the dispute in order to resolve the dispute without the need to hire lawyers or go to court.

Find More Accomplishments & Details Here

Newtown Sues Opioid Manufacturers!

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 in favor of authorizing Marc J. Bern Partners, LLP, & Cordisco & Saile, LLC to file suit against the manufacturers, promoters, and distributors of synthetic prescription Opioid medications on behalf of Newtown Township. 

The list of defendants includes major drug companies, including Purdue Pharma, which are named as defendants in similar lawsuits filed by other municipalities (read, for example, "Bucks County, Bensalem File Lawsuits Against Opioid Manufacturers in Hopes of Recouping Costs"). 

Newtown Township will not be charged any attorney fees for filing the action, and the law firms will work on a contingency basis of 25%. That is, 25% of any fees awarded to Newtown will be retained by the law firm and 75% will go to Newtown.

Do You Support Newtown's Decision to File a Civil Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers? Please Take the Survey Now! No identifying information is collected via this survey unless you opt-in to provide such information.

DISCLAIMER: This is not an official Newtown Township approved survey. Its purpose is solely to inform John Mack – a Newtown Supervisor – of the public’s opinion regarding this issue.

Take the Opioid Suit Survey Now

The 2018 Fire and Emergency Services Study

In November, 2017, Newtown Township issued an RFP seeking a fire service consultant experienced in the management and operations of volunteer/combination fire departments to undertake “an organizational, effectiveness and overall efficiency study on staffing levels, facilities, apparatus needs, equipment, administration, financials pertaining to the fire service and the services of the department serving our community.”

In February, 2018, Harry R. Carter. Ph.D., L.L.C., a municipal fire protection firm headquartered in New Jersey, was approved by the Newtown Board of Supervisors to perform the analysis. Dr. Harry Carter has more than 35 years’ experience as a municipal fire protection consultant. He has been a member of the fire and emergency services world since 1964.

The final Fire and Emergency Services Study was completed in December, 2018.

Fire Study Recommendations

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John Mack