Famous for having some of the Main Line’s most desirable addresses and infamous for the maze of ordinances that govern it, Lower Merion Township’s public planning is overseen by its board of commissioners. Zoning, taxes, commercial property development—all of that and more is under the commissioners’ purview and open for discussion at what can be lengthy meetings.
The gal behind the gavel is Elizabeth Rogan, commissioner of Ward 7 since 2004 and president of the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners for almost three years. The second woman and first Democrat to hold the presidency, Rogan is admired for the deftness with which she handles large issues—and large egos.
“On every issue, there are many people with many opinions and many dollars at stake,” she says. “Homeowners want to guard their investments, as do commercial real estate developers. The commissioners make decisions based on our township’s laws. Does that always make everyone happy? Certainly not.”
During her tenure, Rogan has presided over the ongoing saga of the Ardmore Transit Center and Business Revitalization Project, which is due before the board again this month. But she’s most proud of the things that create less drama and a better quality of life for residents. Curbside trash pick-up, creation of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, and renovations to the Ludington and Bala Cynwyd libraries are among Rogan’s favorite projects—as is the fact that Lower Merion hasn’t raised taxes in three years.
“Some people might think that it’s tedious, mind-numbing work,” she says. “But the truth is that I love it.”