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Referendum to reduce Yardley Borough Council size to five is voted down

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Yardley Borough Council will remain at seven members after an Election Day referendum to reduce it to five members was voted down.

A total of 915 borough residents (57.73 percent) voted no on the question of reducing the size and 670 voted yes (42.27 percent), according to unofficial results from the Bucks County Board of Elections.

Resident Earl Markey had led the petition drive to get the question on the Nov. 8 ballot. He and other advocates of the change felt that, among other advantages, reducing the council’s size would lessen the impact of so many elected council members resigning and being replaced by appointees.

“While I would have liked to have seen a different result, we had an incredible turnout, there were no issues with voting and ultimately, the will of the people was expressed,” Markey said.

Council President Caroline Thompson said she was happy with the result of the referendum but added that the numbers also gave her a lot of food for thought.

“I’m very pleased to see that Yardley Borough opted to retain their board of seven volunteer council persons,” Thompson said. “When offered the option to reduce the board to five, Yardley responded via vote that ‘what we have is working well and we don’t want to change it.’

“With that being said, more than 400 residents voted in favor of a council size reduction. While statistics show voters are more likely to vote ‘yes’ on referendums, regardless of the question asked, I like to ask myself what is the lesson here? What are voters trying to tell Yardley’s council?

“One takeaway is that we need to be mindful of the people we are recruiting to run for council. Do they have plans to serve for a long tenure? Are they firmly planted in the borough? With the Primary for our municipal election just six months away, these questions are at the forefront of my mind. Thank you to all who voted, regardless of whether you voted yes or no. I appreciate the dialogue.”


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