Rosalind Jones-Johnson ’70 is beginning her tenth year as an elected public official in Yeadon, Pennsylvania in Delaware County. In 2011, Rosalind was elected to her third term as a public official. As the most experienced councilor, she chaired the budget committee, personnel committee, code committee, and the public works committee. She also served on the finance committee. Rosalind also took on the role of chief negotiator for the borough.
Rosalind holds a Master of Public Administration from Cheyney University, where she honed her leadership potential. During that time, she served as a special assistant to Pennsylvania’s secretary of education, chaired the professional standards and practices commission and served for five years on the advisory board of the U.S. Department of Education’s Regional Education Laboratory.
Rosalind was sworn into her third term of office in January 2012. Community members specifically recruited Rosalind and organizations to run for a third term in 2011 because of the lack of experienced public officials on Yeadon Borough Council. The once financially stable community was beginning to experience significant financial problems.
After being sworn into office, she implemented committees with the specific purpose of mentoring less experienced public officials and systematically analyzing and solving Yeadon’s municipal problems. She played a key role in developing, monitoring, and controlling expenditure that put the once financially struggling municipality in the black. At the end of 2013, Yeadon Borough ended the year will positive fund balances in all accounts. The borough, for the first time in more than a decade, did not need a tax anticipatory note. These notes represent money that is borrowed at the beginning of the year, and then used to pay municipal bills until taxes are received. Many community leaders acknowledge that Rosalind was primarily responsible for dramatic improvements in finances and the quality of life in Yeadon Borough in less than a year.
As the code committee chair, Rosalind developed a process that would more carefully enforce ordinances that almost doubled code revenue in 2013. Furthermore, she eliminated most blighted properties in the borough, effectually raising the property value and community standard. Rosalind worked with the council president, Denise Stinson, councilor Gracie Snead and the borough’s solicitor Michael Puppio to secure a grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development to develop a five-year financial plan, which was adopted in December 2013. This plan when implemented will serve as a guide to informed and responsible decision-making for the borough. The expected result of the plan is to guide future decision makers to the path that best realizes continued positive financial gains for the borough for the next five years.
Rosalind earned certificates for the fields of grievance, arbitration and negotiations from Penn State University and completed programs in negotiation at Harvard University. As chief negotiator for the borough, Rosalind successfully negotiated two municipal contracts without arbitrations or any legal cost to the borough.
Rosalind has already served two of the four years of her term. In the next two years, she will focus on monitoring, and controlling the budget. She will also work to continue to increase property values through code enforcement. In collaboration with other committed community leaders and organizations, she will work to make Yeadon a great place to live and work.
Rosalind currently serves as education director for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.