By Kaitlyn Foti
NORRISTOWN >> For his last weeks as Montgomery County Commissioner, Josh Shapiro will no longer serve as chairman. At the start of the Thursday board meeting, Shapiro stepped down from the role, and Vice Chairwoman Val Arkoosh took his place.
“I am so honored to become chair of this commission and intend to continue the tradition that has been established by this administration of working together, working collaboratively with an open, ethical, transparent government to continue to do all the good work that we’ve been doing for Montgomery County,” Arkoosh said.
After winning election for Pennsylvania attorney general, Shapiro said he felt it was appropriate to step down from the chairmanship in advance of resigning from the board in January.
“I think it’s really prudent at this time to have the opportunity for a seamless transition during this period,” Shapiro said.
In two unanimous votes, Arkoosh was designated the new commissioner chairperson and Shapiro assumed her role as vice chairperson. Both are Democrats. Arkoosh led the majority of the meeting as chairwoman.
Shapiro, who will be sworn in as attorney general in January, said he will remain on the board into the new year and then resign before he is sworn in.
“Between today and January I will continue to work incredibly hard for the people of this county. I do just want to point out that sitting next to me over the last five years has been this gavel, which I am very, very proud of the fact that it was never used,” Shapiro said. “It was never used because we worked incredibly hard with Commissioner (Bruce) Castor, Commissioner (Leslie) Richards and now with Commissioner Arkoosh to find consensus, to work together and to do so in a really positive and constructive manner. And we’ve done a lot of great things here.”
The third member of the commissioners’ board is Republican Joe Gale.
Shapiro’s resignation will trigger the process of replacing him, a decision made by Montgomery County Court judges after hearing recommendations from the Montgomery County Democratic Committee and Arkoosh and reviewing self-nominations.