October 24, 2013 Delaware County Vice-Chairman Mario Civera, Jr. recently sat for an interview to discuss what role he has played within the Delaware County Council and how it is working for its citizens now and for continued development. “Fiscal responsibility is the key in continuing to produce growth for Delaware County” Mr. Civera stated. Mr. Civera pointed to the recent success of bringing to Concord Township, the Axalta Coating System Company, which will establish their North American Headquarters there. The company, when launched, will create around 232 permanent jobs and bring many temporary construction jobs to the county.
Mr. Civera is a local fixture in Delaware County politics. His dedication to public service began in 1974 when he was appointed to the Upper Darby Board of Commissioners. Then, in a special election held in April 1980, Mario was elected to the state House of Representatives in the 164th Legislative District. In February 1992, Mario, relinquished his position with the Upper Darby Township Council to concentrate his attention on the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Then he was elected to Delaware County Council in 2009 and began his four-year term on the County Council in January 2010.Members of County Council are elected on an at large basis to four year terms at staggered two year intervals when municipal elections are held, which occur in odd numbered years. When asked if he missed serving in the House he stated that he “missed the debate, the introduction of new laws and working in Harrisburg” but he stated that serving on county council gave him the opportunity to interact “more with one on one meeting with constituents” especially after council meetings.
Mr. Civera is proud of the work that the council has done on behalf of its constituents and points to the new policies that have been enacted that will protect those in the community. One program is the Heroin Task Force.
The Heroin Task force has secured a grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the amount of $625,000 over a five year period. One part of that plan is for the proper disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs that can be disposed of in secure medication drop boxes throughout the county at local police departments. These drop boxes are now opened to the public to help make sure these medications do not fall into the wrong hands. The disposal of these drugs is just the first step in trying to reduce the number of overdoses in the county and to stop these drugs from becoming the gateway drug to the use of heroin. “Our medical examiner called us in and showed us the impact of heroin overdoses in the county and showed us how prescription pain medicine has also become that gateway” Mr. Civera stated. “We are determined to protect our children, our families and our communities from the devastating effects of drug addiction.” He continued on. The Heroin Task Force can be found on the county website, (www. Co.delaware.pa.us) and programs to discourage the use of this drug can also be found on the website. Mr. Civera stated that we must recognize the ever increasing use of heroin and stated “in 2012 there were 50 heroin related deaths in 2012 in Delaware County.”
Another program which protects its citizens and was launched this year is the Delaware County Police Alert for School Safety (DelPSASS). This is a silent alarm system that has been implemented in all schools that immediately and directly alerts law enforcement of a dangerous intruder or a potential threat to students. “After Sandy Hook we realized the need for such a system and we secured a grant to pay for the DelPASS system.” Mr. Civera stated. “The alarm system is activated only by pushing something like a panic alarm which will notify law enforcement personnel and there is the ability to learn what is really going on at that school at that time” Mr. Civera explained. By saving time the idea is that lives will be saved.
Mr. Civera is hopeful that he will be retained on Delaware County Council. He states “there is always work to be done to improve the quality of life in Delaware County.” Mr. Civera continues to live in Drexel Hill and is married to his wife Donna. He has one son, Mario J. Civera III, who is married and resides in Delaware County. He also has 3 step-sons and has 8 grandchildren.