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Buckingham finalizes same-tax budget, Gallagher’s separation


Buckingham Township adopted its no-tax increase budget for 2024 and approved the Separation Agreement and Release between the township and former Police Chief Mike Gallagher, who resigned abruptly Dec. 1.

Both actions came Wednesday at a meeting of the Buckingham Township Board of Supervisors.

The budget, which was advertised last month and posted on the township website, holds the line on the real estate tax rate for another year.

There has been no millage to support the township’s general fund since 1998. By a series of resolutions approved at the meeting, taxes remaining the same are the Earned Income Tax (EIT) at 1%; the Local Services Tax of $10 on earnings in excess of $12,000; the Realty Transfer Tax at 1%; 3 mills for open space debt; 0.75 mills for fire protection; and 0.25 mills for ambulance, rescue and other emergency services.

As for the separation agreement, no details were made public at the meeting, which is not unusual in personnel matters.

After Wednesday’s meeting, Supervisors Chair Paul Calderaio said that Gallagher’s wife had retired, and that he wanted to move south. He also noted that he had been reminded by Township Manager Dana Cozza that when Gallagher was hired seven years ago, it was to serve a particular action plan that was estimated to take five-to-seven years to complete, and that a status report on that plan would be provided during the process of hiring a new police chief.

Police Lt. William Moffett has assumed command of the department in the interim.

Approval of the separation agreement came on the eve of the township’s appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to discuss a civil complaint that a former detective filed claiming police department sex discrimination, charges the township has denied.

The complaint by Samantha Devery, who resigned from the department in August 2022, alleges workplace discrimination and that, under Gallagher, the department constituted “a hostile work environment because of her sex and pregnancy.” It cites numerous examples that the township, in a Sept. 15, 2023 response, flatly denies took place.

Thursday’s Case Management Conference in Philadelphia established a trial date of May 28. Prior to that, a settlement conference is scheduled Feb. 14 and a final pretrial conference is set for May 22.

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