2013 was a year of ups and down in the world of politics. Locally, Delaware County PA Republicans lost in the number of registered voters but still came out the winners for Delaware County Council and in Upper Darby Township the party still held the lead on the township council.
President Obama faced some of his toughest challenges with the passage of the Affordable Care Act which was promised to make health care available to all but when the website was introduced it couldn’t handle the volume of citizens placing orders or even those looking for answers.
In Pennsylvania Governor Corbett faced a tough budget with cuts that were not popular with the people but he was successful with the passage of the transportation bill which will divert money to repair roadways and bridges although it will raise gas prices at the pump for many.
In Upper Darby, the Chief of Police, Mike Chitwood saw the publication of his biography “Tough Cop”. Chitwood also saw two officers who had been originally terminated in July due to “violating township policies when they were accused of assaulting a juvenile, be reinstated after being awarded their jobs back through arbitration. Chief Chitwood continued his policy of open communication with the community by working with Mayor Thomas Micozzie at various Town Hall meetings that took place throughout Upper Darby in the fall. Chitwood sounded the bell about what was once thought of as an inner-city problem, the use and sale of heroin on the streets of Upper Darby. One particular arrest hit home when a 10th grader at Upper Darby High School was arrested with 81 bags of heroin and $716 in cash. As Chitwood stated “When you see a 16 year old kid with that kind of money and drugs you know he’s dealing”. The Upper Darby Police Department continued their assault on drug dealers with large arrests in August and October
.Upper Darby and the members of the Llanerch Hills Chapel proved that paying it forward is alive and well. Casey’s provided funding for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a Think Pink with Casey’s fundraiser. They continued their community support with a fundraiser for Llanerch Hills Chapel so the church can continue their work with the homeless. There were many wonderful moments of generous spirit throughout the year and the selflessness of those actions will continue well into the New Year.
The world lost an iconic figure of peace and acceptance with the passing of Nelson Mandela. The work he did in bringing together the people of South Africa continues today all over the world wherever there is oppression and discrimination. Mr. Mandela left a legacy of hope and peace that we can be thankful for.
Hollywood said goodbye to many who spent their lives giving us enjoyment such as Jean Stapleton, Peter O’Toole, Joan Fontaine, Lou Reed, Marcia Wallace and David Frost to name a few. There were also those who left us too soon, such as Cory Monteith, Lee Thompson Young, Lisa Robin Kelly, and Paul Walker.
As we leave 2013 behind we should take a moment to reflect, take time to enjoy and thank whoever or whatever you believe in for giving us a chance to do it all again in 2014 but maybe a little bit better.