Building a partnership

State Rep. Brendan Boyle and Rep. Tom Murt recently announced formation of an alliance partnering to aid Eastern Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia during a visit to the Pine Road School in Huntingdon Valley.

By Tom Waring

Wire Staff Writer

State Reps. Tom Murt and Brendan Boyle have formed an alliance designed to help them to work together to tackle issues and problems that cut across Eastern Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia.

Murt is a Republican who represents the 152nd Legislative District, which consists of Upper Moreland, Lower Moreland, Hatboro, Horsham, Upper Dublin and the Northeast.

Boyle is a Democrat who represents the 170th Legislative District, which includes Rockledge and portions of Abington and Northeast Philadelphia.

Boyle said he believes there is too much “hyper partisanship” in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.

In the last year, he and Murt have discussed ways of partnering to aid Eastern Montgomery County and the Northeast. Suburban communities and Northeast neighborhoods share concerns about issues such as roads, jobs and economic development, Boyle said.

Arteries such as Route 232, Byberry Road, County Line Road and Philmont Avenue connect the city and suburbs.

Recently, Boyle and Murt agreed to form the Eastern Montgomery County/Northeast Philadelphia Legislative Alliance.

Murt cited heavy traffic, more funding for education and mass transportation, flood control, open space preservation and new recreational activities as possible areas of agreement.

“Those are the kind of issues we want to work on,” he said.

Boyle, as chairman, and Murt, as vice chairman, want to be able to work as a region and in a bipartisan fashion.

“We want to make sure we’re able to weigh in and speak with one strong voice,” Boyle said.

Boyle and Murt announced formation of the alliance on May 15 at Pine Road School in Huntingdon Valley. Boyle’s wife, Jenny, is a kindergarten teacher at the school.

Lower Moreland School District Superintendent Marykay Feeley and a fifth-grade class sat in on the announcement.

Others in attendance were Reps. Todd Stephens, a Republican from Horsham, and Kevin Boyle, a Democrat from the Northeast.

Other members of the alliance include Democratic Reps. Steve McCarter and Madeleine Dean.

McCarter represents a Jenkintown-based district that includes one division in the Northeast.

Dean’s district is centered in Abington.

Philadelphia at-large Republican City Councilman Denny O’Brien is also part of the alliance.

The logo of the alliance is a double lock, one red (the color identified with Republicans) and the other blue (the color associated with Democrats).

Kevin Boyle believes that many Northeast residents do not feel City Hall addresses their concerns and senses that some people in Eastern Montgomery County feel distant from the county seat in Norristown.

“We need to come together to effectively lobby for what our districts need,” he said.

Stephens said schools, roads and parks are not partisan issues.

“It’s not about party. It’s about serving the people,” he said.