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Horsham Council Appoints Two to HLRA

The new board members will have a vote on the future development at Willow Grove air base.

The Horsham Township Council on Monday appointed two businessmen to the board charged with deciding the future development of the sprawling

The council appointed Gary Bissig and Larry Burns to fill five-year terms that end Dec. 31, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014, respectively.

Bissig, who spearheaded the  community policing program and serves as the township’s deputy emergency management coordinator, will fill the seat vacated two months ago by Terry Tumulo, owner of and the Commonwealth Corporate Center.

Burns, who participates in several regional organizations, including the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, also sits on the HLRA’s economic development subcommittee and will replace Carmen Italia, who serves on the Montgomery County Industrial Development Corporation. Italia resigned from the board last year, Township Manager Bill Walker said.

Council President Mark McCouch said the appointments were made well after Italia and Tumulo tendered their resignations because the council needed to find “someone of equal value” in terms of a business and economic development background. McCouch said the council reviewed resumes of interested candidates before deciding on Bissig and Burns.

With the appointments, which were approved 4-0 with an abstention from Councilman W. William Whiteside – who chairs the HLRA - the authority returns to its nine-member board, Walker said.

When reached Monday afternoon, Tumulo said he resigned from the HLRA for “personal reasons.”

“It was a very difficult decision for me to make,” Tumulo said, adding that his golf course and corporate center represent the largest linear border of the air base. “I have deep interest in what happens with the HLRA.”

Bissig and Burns will have a chance to attend their first HLRA meeting as board members on June 15 at 3 p.m. Prior to that, the HLRA is holding a two-day community design charrette on June 10-11 at Horsham’s community center. Friday’s two identical sessions will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. A presentation based on public input from those sessions is scheduled for June 11 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more on the HLRA, click here

Suzy Q May 24, 2011 at 01:39 PM
I hope these gentlemen understand and appreciate the historic influence the base/airfield has had on aviation, along with the immediate need for an airport in our area. I also hope that they understand that the last thing we need is another shopping center, industrial park, or housing of any sort. We have a fine school district, so I don't see the need for a new school. Let's try to keep Horsham from becoming any more congested than it already is. We certainly do not want to become like Montgomeryville after they developed the old Montgomeryville Airport/Turner Field.
David Metzler May 24, 2011 at 02:24 PM
Suzy Q I agree with you 100%
Bruce C. Sivesind May 24, 2011 at 04:55 PM
My father was in the Navy and retired there. I grew up loving that air-base. I love to see become a private airport for all size and kinds of planes and helicopters and anything that sails in air. And to keep it as historical site. We lost Johnsville Navel Base, and I will do all I can to help save Willow Grove Navel Base. Signed Proudly, Bruce C. Sivesind
Suzy Q May 24, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Hey Bruce.....you see my name here as Suzy Q, but I'll sign my full name proudly, also. Signed, Suzanne J. Kane
Steve Czerviski May 25, 2011 at 09:31 PM
FINALLY some people with sense ! You hit it right on the head Suzy Q, well said. I would rather see the gate stay locked and let the animals have it instead of more homes, malls, offices, etc. There is plenty of office space already sitting vacant on Dreshertown road and Witmer as well. My father is a WWII vet and served there and I myself still work there ( until Sept. 23rd ) with the PA ANG 111FW. All Horsham sees are tax dollars that they can generate from developing the land. Their plans will just lead to MORE congestion, MORE traffic lights and, MORE problems. V/R, Steve Czerviski
Parag June 12, 2011 at 03:36 AM
Steve, Suzy and David - I am a Horsham resident with multiple business interests in the township. I am a private pilot who learned to fly at the WG Navy flying club and in the past year or so have over 250 landings at Willow Grove. Residents of this township have been misinformed by a select few about a potential GA airport at this site. What we all collectively need to do is educate everyone that we come across who is willing to listen to us with facts about the benefits of an airport. The savewillowgrove.org website has a lot of valuable information. Signed, Parag Amin
Carol Inman June 13, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Be certain that all are equally educated about the adverse health effects of living next to an airport. Google it!

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