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Gov. Tom Corbett Steps Down from Board of Commissioners
Names Replacement; Board to Elect New Chairman on August 15
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett today announced that he would be stepping down later this month as chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
The governor also announced that he would name Andrew J. Reilly of Middletown Township, Pa. to succeed him on the board. The governor will recommend that at its next regularly scheduled meeting on August 15, the board elect sitting Commissioner David F. Simon of Gwynedd Valley, Pa. to serve as chairman.
“Leading the DRPA through a period of transition has been a welcome challenge,” Gov. Corbett said. “When I joined the Board of Commissioners last year, I said I would remain only as long as it took to return the authority to its core mission: Providing safe, reliable, customer friendly transportation to the people of southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. I believe the board is reliably committed to that mission, and the time has come for me to leave it in the board’s care.”
Gov. Corbett appointed himself to the board and was subsequently elected chairman in March 2011.
During his tenure, the DRPA has ended the controversial policy of issuing bonds to fund economic development projects unrelated to transportation, reduced its aggregate debt to just over $1.2 billion from a high of about $1.45 billion, moved forward on the Walt Whitman Bridge redecking and PATCO passenger car renovation projects, decreased the authority’s 2012 debt service by approximately $2.5 million per month, increased its operational liquidity, created the DRPA Office of the Inspector General to fight waste and abuse, completed its first reverse auction for electricity at an estimated annual savings of about $1.3 million and kept spending in check by submitting nearly flat annual operating budgets for two years in a row.
The incoming chairman and the governor’s latest board appointment both have extensive experience in government, trial law and non-profit corporate governance.
Simon, 59, is executive vice president and chief legal officer for Jefferson Health System, based in Radnor, Pa. A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Simon was appointed in March 2011 to the DRPA Board of Commissioners, where he has served as both vice chairman of the finance committee and an active member of the audit committee.
In 2010, Simon chaired incoming Gov. Corbett’s transition teams for the Department of Insurance and the Department of Public Welfare. He also chaired former Gov. Tom Ridge’s transition teams for the Department of Health and Aging. Simon later served in the Ridge Administration as chief counsel for the Department of Insurance.
“As chairman, Gov. Corbett has given the DRPA every tool it needs to become one of the most efficient, customer-focused and respected transportation agencies in the country,” Simon said. “I intend to put those tools to work. We will continue to focus our mission on transportation. We will continue to strengthen management controls and pursue management efficiencies. Most importantly, we will add value on our customers’ terms, not our own.”
Reilly, 49, is a partner in the law firm of Swartz Campbell in Media, Pa. He specializes in municipal liability, personal injury, products liability, real estate and commercial litigation. His clients include the Delaware County Redevelopment Authority, the Delaware County Economic Development Oversight Board, the Brandywine Conference and Visitors’ Bureau, I.B.E.W. Local 654 and the Township of Aston, Pa. He also represents the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Museum and the Lenni Heights Fire Company on a pro bono basis.
Reilly is a former chairman of the Delaware County Council and the sitting chairman of the Republican Committee of Delaware County. He also serves on boards of directors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Riddle Hospital and the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority. He is a graduate of Susquehanna University and the Widener University School of Law.
The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency that connects millions of people and businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The DRPA owns and operates the PATCO commuter rail line and the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross toll bridges. The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.
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