Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Getting to know you
Congressman Pat Meehan visits Gap to meet some of his new constituents Getting to know you BY KAREN SHUEY, Staff Writer
Lancaster County residents can expect to see more of Pat Meehan.
The U.S. congressman promised Tuesday that he won't be a stranger to the area, now that his recently redrawn district cuts into the eastern part of the county.
"I'm taking the time to meet with and talk to the people and community leaders in the area to learn more about the concerns my constituents have," he said during a brief stop at Gap Diner.
The Drexel Hill Republican was sworn in to his second term this month, but he said he's spending much of this week getting to know his new territory.
Meehan represents the 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster and Montgomery counties. The new borders added tentacles into two new counties -- Lancaster and Berks.
In Lancaster, the district covers Christiana Borough and Bart, Colerain, Leacock, Paradise, Sadsbury and Salisbury townships -- roughly 30,000 voters who had been represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts.
Meehan said it's important for him to make a connection to the county, so he scheduled a meeting Tuesday with township and borough officials.
"My outlook on certain policies are based on personal engagement and real responses from the voters," the 57-year-old said.
While the physical boundaries of his district may have changed, he said his style of governing will remain much the same.
"Each community has unique and specific needs, so I take the time to listen to the people," he said, adding that he has already learned a great deal from leaders of the county's Amish population.
To help promote dialogue between his staff and local residents, Meehan has set up a satellite office in the Paradise Township municipal building.
The former federal prosecutor said he believes the most pressing matters in the area are tourism, farming and transportation.
Although there are some distinctive issues facing his Lancaster County constituents, the regional focus of his work -- which includes job growth and energy creation -- will not change, he said.
In Washington, Meehan is the chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also sits on the Oversight and Government Reform, Transportation and Infrastructure and House Ethics committees.
A former National Hockey League referee, the congressman ran for office after serving as U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania.
The office brought charges in a number of high-profile political corruption cases, including that of state Sen. Vince Fumo, who was convicted of misuing $1 million of state funds and $1 million from a charity he founded.
Meehan resigned in 2008 to explore a run for governor, which he ultimately decided against.
A native of Montgomery County, Meehan is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Temple University School of Law. He and his wife, Carolyn, have three sons.
Constituents who would like help dealing with federal agencies, can visit Meehan's Paradise Township office, 2 Township Drive, on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They can call his district office at (610) 690-7323 or Washington office at (202) 225-2011.
Constituents also can sign up to receive Meehan's e-newsletters on his website: http://meehan.house.gov.