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Bob Gillies – Township Commissioner

BobGilliesRibbonCuttingBob is the third commissioner in our Get to Know section. He is a family man who loves to travel the United States. He’s checked off 39 of the 50 states and loves his home state the most. Bob not only considers current residents, but also takes the long view when it comes to township decisions.

Below are some questions we’ve asked of Bob, and his responses.

What are your accomplishments as a commissioner?

There are several accomplishments that the Board was able to achieve:

  1. Keeping control of spending and taxes even in the face of a significant opposition
  2. Starting a storm water reserve fund and implementing a new township wide plan for storm water issues
  3. Improve the business climate that has allowed for major companies such as Giant to be developed in Springfield
  4. Obtaining open space by zoning changes thus maintaining or improving the tax base
What are your future goals as a commissioner?
  1. Revisions to the Pension Programs in an effort to preserve the pension for the employees and reducing the cost to the tax payer
  2. Continuing to reduce the properties exposed to storm water events
  3. Increase the business growth to reduce the tax burden on property tax and provide added jobs to our community
  4. Improve access to Sandy Run Park and fully use other parks in the township
What makes you a good commissioner?

Others will determine if I am a “good” Commissioner. I can only answer to what drives my actions. I make decisions on how an item will impact not just the residents today, but what the impact will be to the future generations. I think anyone can make a short term decision, but if you do not look at how a topic impacts the long term you do a disservice to those who elected you and the Township Community as a whole.

Why should people vote for you the next time you’re up for re-election?

I think it is most important to review someone’s record and vote for them if they consistency stand for and make sure that the individual voters, not groups of people or non-constitutional ideals, are paramount. That a person fights with all resources available to stop poor/bad legislation and know when to temper the fight to assure the best outcome possible in a given situation. I would like to think the above defines me.

Do you have any advice for township residents to get involved?

Join the local clubs (Lions, Rotary etc.) Volunteer to the Fire Companies, Little League, Soccer Club or Township Sports programs, join the local swim clubs and of course help out at your place of worship. You need to share your passion with others. You will find out more about and have input in the community life in Springfield by participating. Do not let others participate for you. Get involved. Then look for vacancies on Township Committees and put in for an interview as these opportunities do not come up to often.
The opportunity to have impact in Springfield is more likely not with in the Township Committees but participating in the local community groups. Plus the reward you receive in participation is significant.

What is your full time job?

First, I am a Father and Husband.
I am employed at AP Construction as a Project Manager. My entire working career has been in construction. This position has helped me understand government processes as I work daily with budgets, costs control, advancement in technology, contracts, labor relations and costs, tax and regulation implications on business, assisting disadvantaged businesses and preparing for the future. A majority of the Township, and Government in General, is consistent with the construction industry.

Are there any employment or volunteer opportunities within the township or your employer?

At present the opportunity for jobs in the current economy is limited to say the least. That is why Springfield is aggressively working to improve business development to generate jobs in Springfield both short term construction jobs and the long term jobs that new and expanding business bring to the community.

BobGilliesFamilyOn the personal side…

Have you lived anywhere outside of Springfield?

I have lived the majority of my life in Montgomery County. Born and raised in Mainland PA, spent one year in Naples FL, then returned to Mainland. For the last 27 years My Wife, Joan, and I have lived in Oreland. First on Bruce Road and currently on Woods Road

Why did you choose to live in Springfield?

We chose to live in Springfield for the convenience of its half-way point between Mainland and Southwest Philadelphia where my wife’s family was located at the time.

What do you like about Springfield?

How do you not like that Springfield is a close knit community and each section of Springfield the neighborhoods are like a family! People are always looking out for you and your children. This is how all communities should be and this is why we stayed in Springfield.

Do you have a favorite business or restaurant?

That would depend on what I had a craving for that day. Springfield is blessed with the food and businesses either in the Township or the surrounding area. Picking one would not be fair.

Do you have a favorite event in Springfield?

Oreland Lions 4th of July Parade.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Coaching, hiking, camping, deep sea fishing, golf and going to the beach

Describe yourself in 3 words

Boisterous (I could just say this 3 times)
Confident
Compassionate

What superpowers would you choose if you could choose one?

Not sure that any one superpower has made a superhero, but if pushed I would choose the power(s) Bruce Willis had in the movie “Unbreakable”. The ability to see evil in people and the unbreakable strength to stop them.

If you had just one wish, what would it be?

That all peoples of the world lived under the US Constitution as it is one of the most important political documents ever written defining the rights of the people, not the government. This may explain why I am in this field to begin with.

Where have you traveled internationally, and which country was your favorite?

France, Italy, Bermuda and Canada (does Canada count?)
Italy was my favorite. It was the first major trip overseas with my family, a true adventure.

Where have you travelled in the US and which location was your favorite?

I have been to 39 States.
Pennsylvania is my favorite for history, Oregon for diversity of climate and topography. But I would not pass on any of them and look forward to hitting the last 11.

What’s your favorite invention?

The Wooden Wheel – You need to see the demonstration in Williamsburg to comprehend the complexity of this invention and the 2000+ year impact the wooden wheel had on the world.

Do you volunteer?

Currently I coach CYO HS Basketball for Holy Martyrs and I am also a member of the Oreland Lions, serving on the “Taste of Springfield” and “Miss Oreland Lions” Committees. I also have coached Baseball (OWLL) Softball (HM and Township) and Football (Upper Dublin) and of course one of my favorites was “deck mom” for Springfield Aquatic and Oreland Swim Clubs. Have served on Oreland Town Watch – my entry into Springfield township Volunteering.

Do you support any causes or non-profit organizations?

Yes, The Lions, PSU/THON, The Live Arts and too many others to mention, however please support the local Fire Companies, Little Leagues and other sports programs, Boys and Girl Scouts and any group that supports the live arts for children/youth.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Bob. If you, or someone you know would like to be profiled by Everyday Springfield. Send us a message via our Contact Us page.