The Solebury supervisors said goodbye to their solicitor of some five years Tuesday night and wished him well in his new position as a judge of the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
Jordan Yeager, a partner with the Curtin & Heefner law firm, was elected to a 10-year term on the court in November.
“Tonight is the swan song for our solicitor of these last several years,” said Supervisor Chair Mark Baum Baicker. “The most important attribute of a solicitor is to be able to help me understand both sides of every important issue.
“Jordan has an uncanny ability to do that. And I think that more than anything else, that’s what will make Jordan a great judge.
“I have appreciated all the help he has given me in learning my responsibilities as a supervisor and keeping me on the straight and narrow.”
He also praised Yeager for “winning some of the most important environmental cases in the history of our commonwealth,” including a 2013 victory in the state Supreme Court where it declared a state law unconstitutional because it violated the environmental rights of state residents. The law in question was Act 13 which took away local zoning authority over fracking.
Supervisor Kevin Morrissey also had praise for the solicitor.
“I can say that sitting on this side of the table as a supervisor there is a continuous legal maze that must be navigated. Jordan, I want to thank you for your tireless effort to assist the township to resolve many legal challenges.You will be sorely missed by the township and by me personally,” he noted.
In other matters, the board unanimously adopted its 2020 budget which calls for no new municipal taxes. It leaves the millage at 23.81.
It breaks down as: General Fund Tax 8.099 mills, Fire Tax Fund 1.75 mills, Library Fund Tax 1.75 mills, Debt Service Fund Tax 12.53 mills, and EMS Fund Tax 0.9402 mills.
The budget includes borrowing of $6 million of refinancing of existing debt (11-year term) and about $1.3 million of new debt (seven-year term) .
The interest rate, Baum Baicker said, “is 1.59 percent, which is incredibly low. The estimated savings on the refinanced portion of the debt is upwards of $200,000. Again this is a testament to the prudent management of our budget by (Township Manager) Dennis Carney and (Assistant Township Manager) Michele Blood.”
The supervisors also heard from Dave Johnson, executive director of the Land Trust of Bucks County, who presented his group’s annual report.
He cited 2019 accomplishments, including using drones to monitor preserved properties, as well as using the technology to promote some of the features that are preserved by the Land Trust.
Baum Baicker also urged residents to complete the township’s online survey about whether the township should increase its annual $120,000 contribution to the Library of New Hope and Solebury.
He said the goal is to have survey results available at the Tuesday, Jan. 14, public meeting on the subject at the New Hope-Solebury High School auditorium.
Hard copies of the survey are also available at the township building, where they need to be filled out.