After reading about all the hardships many people endured to get out and vote in our recent election, I couldn’t help but consider how powerful the right to vote is and how the township I live in isn’t exercising its right and responsibility to do so when it comes to being a member of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC).
The UDC is a not-for-profit organization with 15 voting members—eight New York towns, five Pennsylvania townships, and two states (New York and Pennsylvania). Buckingham Township is one of only two townships that has not joined and therefore is not entitled to a vote on the many issues that affect life along the Upper Delaware River. As non-participating townships, Buckingham and Manchester must deal directly with the National Park Service (NPS) without having the power of a strong collective voice to provide input on policies and decisions.
At our township’s September planning board meeting, Laurie Ramie, executive director of the UDC, and Sean McGuinness, NPS superintendent of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, shared the history and mission of the UDC and presented information about the goals and objectives of the Delaware River Management Plan. Representatives from the Town of Hancock, NY and Damascus Township, PA attended to add personal information about their experiences as voting members of the UDC. They agreed that having a vote in this organization serves the citizens of their communities because decisions are made that affect river corridor life with or without the voice of the non-participants. So it’s better to have a vote.
It’s time for Buckingham Township to be responsible to its citizens, join the UDC and exercise its franchise. I urge the township supervisors to invite representatives of the NPS and UDC to a township general meeting to learn more about the opportunity and then schedule a vote to join the organization.
Buckingham Township, PA