(Photo: Councilman Jim Purcell received the Cecil K. Leberknight award from the PA Borough's Association in honor of his service to the Borough and regional groups for more than four decades. This award is given annually to recognize faithful and effective service by borough officials.)
Nov 29, 2023
Few public officials in Perkasie’s recent history have made a bigger contribution to our Borough than Jim Purcell.
Jim Purcell’s long and outstanding record of public service for Perkasie Borough began in August 1977, when Jim was appointed to serve on the Pennridge Wastewater Treatment Authority. Jim was named as its president in 1982 and served in that capacity for over a decade. Jim also served on the Perkasie Regional Authority.
Jim also started his long-time membership with the Pennridge Jaycees during that period. In 1979, Jim championed the project of a walking trail in Lenape Park as a Centennial gift to the Borough from the Jaycees. Jim and his wife Libby also took part in the Fire Aide efforts after the Great Fire of 1988 in Perkasie.
During the 1990s, Jim remained active as a member of the Grand View Hospital Foundation and in the efforts to rebuild downtown Perkasie as part of the Perkasie Town Improvement Association.
In December 1992, Jim was appointed to Perkasie Borough Council to fill a vacancy. He was elected to Borough Council and also named to the Perkasie Planning Commission in 1996. In 1997, Jim received the Sahli Service Award from the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association. The award is presented to Association members with 20 or more years of service to a municipal authority.
After taking a break from elected office and the PWTA, Jim was elected to Perkasie Borough council in November 2007, and he pledged to unite various groups to help develop Perkasie’s town center.
Since 2008, Jim played important roles in the development of Perkasie’s public power polices, including the stabilization of the electric rates and building an Electric Department widely recognized as providing outstanding public service. Jim also served as the vice president of Perkasie Borough Council for many years.
Behind the scenes, Jim played a bigger role helping new businesses start in Perkasie using his experience and connections to solve problems and mentor newcomers to the Borough. And no one had a bigger appreciation of Perkasie’s history and development.
To all his friends in Perkasie, he will be greatly missed, but Jim’s legacy will hopefully inspire a new generation of leaders to give back to the community he felt was special and worthy of a lifetime of public service.