Limited Government In Action, by Terence Farrell

Limited Government In Action, by Terence Farrell

Published: Feb 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

By Terence Farrell

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.”
~ President Ronald Reagan, 1989 Farewell Address

I have heard the call for fiscal sanity at all levels of government, and I am up to the challenge.  During my tenure as County Commissioner, I have led a fiscally conservative and responsible county government.   I have helped make us one of the top 24 best managed counties in the United States and the #1 county in Pennsylvania.  We are the healthiest, the wealthiest and the best educated county in our Commonwealth, and one of the best places to raise a family in our entire nation!  These are not mere talking points; these are facts.

As the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Chester County, I assure you of my continued commitment to the Republican ideal of smaller, limited and responsible government.  Despite the economic challenges facing our county, I have a proven record of successful leadership at our county’s helm.  Among those accomplishments have been balancing the county’s last two budgets without an increase in property taxes, reducing the county operating budget by nearly $56 million, and keeping our county’s debt in the lowest 1% of all the nation’s 3,143 county governments.  This is truly limited government in action.

Beyond spending reductions, I’ve taken long-term steps to save tax dollars and increase efficiencies in our government, including the adoption of a strategic planning initiative that is the first of its kind for any government entity in our state.   Like most successful businesses do, you’d think an organization founded in 1682 with 54 departments and more than 2,400 employees would have such a plan.  But, when I first took office, Chester County did not.  Since then, we have set goals and have begun installing new accountability measures that will help us track the work of our employees, the direction of county resources and the costs to the taxpayer.  Overall, this will help the county find new savings for the taxpayer.  We’ve also merged departments, streamlined county operations, eliminated nearly 200 positions and improved services to reduce the size of government and hold the line on taxes.

Chester County is not the government in Harrisburg or in Washington. We have been rated by the three leading financial rating agencies as being Triple-A, the best debt rating any government can get.  If you compare our county’s bond debt with other counties’, our debt per capita is less than half of the median debt carried by all the other Triple-A rated counties.  Having tax rates among the lowest in the region and making the county run better with less, our fiscal house is in remarkable order — and this is despite very difficult economic times for taxpayers and the county alike.

My fiscally conservative record speaks for itself.  During difficult times, I have led our county government to become one of the best managed in the nation.  With low taxes, smaller government and an eye for efficiency on my agenda, I am seeking re-election as your County Commissioner.

Terence Farrell is the Chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners.  Elected in 2007, he is seeking his second term as County Commissioner.

For more information about Commissioner Farrell, please visit his website at Follow Terence on Facebook at