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Harris Township replaces Christopher Lee with Bruce Lord

Bruce Lord interviews for a position on the Harris Township Board of Supervisors on Feb. 25. Lord was unanimously appointed as the newest supervisor Monday, replacing the seat vacated by Christopher Lee.
Bruce Lord interviews for a position on the Harris Township Board of Supervisors on Feb. 25. Lord was unanimously appointed as the newest supervisor Monday, replacing the seat vacated by Christopher Lee. CDT file photo

The Board of Supervisors on Monday unanimously appointed Bruce Lord as the newest supervisor, replacing the seat vacated by Christopher Lee.

The board had previously tried to appoint a new supervisor on Feb. 25, but were unable to come to a consensus between two separate candidates — resident Frank Harden, who lost the seat to Lee during the 2013 election by a slim margin, and Lord, who serves as chairman of the township’s Shade Tree Commission.

The board had been split 2-2 between both candidates. According to Chairman Nigel Wilson, discussion had taken place on the possibility of Harden agreeing to pass on the vacancy.

Harden instead was appointed to the Planning Commission, he said.

Monday marked the final day the board would have been able to act on filling the vacant seat. Any longer and the township vacancy board would have needed to intervene and act as a tiebreaker.

Lee was indicted on federal charges of child exploitation and child pornography in October and is incarcerated in Columbia County awaiting trial. He formally resigned Feb. 9.

Wilson said he was glad the board was able to come to an agreement, saying that he still maintains that since Lord has demonstrated the ability to work with the township in the past, he will be able to easily step into his role on the board.

“I look forward to working with (the board),” Lord said.

“They’re all good supervisors, and I’m pleased to be part of it.”

In other business, the board approved a alteration in the Springfield Commons tentative planned residential development plan to be changed from a condominium development to a fee simple lot development.

According to zoning officer Todd Shea, under condominiums buyers purchase the right to develop a lot. This included a 10-foot easement between the lot and the public right of way of the road and sidewalks for utility access.

Under a fee simple lot development, he said, buyers purchase the land, after which a house can be built. The fee simple lot ordinance does not allow for the 10 foot easement, as the property has to directly front the street.

Springfield Commons developer Tom Songer agreed to redraw the property lines, but not before suggesting to the board that the easement be added to the right of way.

Since that option had not been discussed with the board prior to the meeting, he would have had to wait an additional 30 days for the board to review this new suggestion.

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