By Alex Lloyd Gross
The two men want the title of Bensalem Mayor. One already had the job, Joseph DiGirolamo and the other, Bryan Allen wants to take it away. To allow the voters in Bensalem the opportunity to determine who they think is the better person for the job, the two agreed to a debate, which was held Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Congregation Tifereth Israel, which is located on Bristol Road in the township.
At times it was civil and at times, contentious. Both have good ideas but both have different agendas to get them done. Allen was against paying the police overtime for things like the drill team which preforms every year during Fall Festival. “It looks nice, but we have to straighten out our finances”, he said. The Mayor expressed regret at having to lay off 19 people to meet the budget.
Both agreed that the drug crisis is serious . DiGirolamo was proud of the fact that Bensalem is the first township to sue drug manufacturers. Allen, was cool to the idea. “It’s going to take a long time, maybe 10 years before we get that resolved and the lawyers will take the brunt of money. It’s a class action suit”, Allen said. He then went after the mayor’s family, which DiGirolamo thought was off limits. “I’m very upset, you brought up my family”, he said, as he wagged a finger at Allen.
Infrastructure such as the I-95 and Street Road intersection were discussed. There were studies done and both hope to be able to put funding in place to bring that project to fruition. It should cost about $150 Million dollars. Short of a philanthropist donating the money, both Harrisburg and Washington will have to be lobbied hard for the funds.
As for term limits. Allen is for them, “The mayor has been here 24 years,”. he said repeatedly. DiGirolamo said that “The courts have ruled against term limits, it cannot be done or enacted. While Allen was working with state legislators, he did nothing to draft legislation for this to happen”. Both candidates have been in politics for a very long time. Allen worked with State Representatives and ran for office previously without success.. His last run got him a respectable number of votes. Election day for Pennsylvania is November 7 2017.