Posted by: webmaster | October 19, 2015

Chester County Leadership – Kathi Cozzone

Chester County Leadership—Kathi Cozzone

Chester County Leadership – Kathi Cozzone

From Queens to Chester County, VISTA Today asks two-term County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone what she remembers growing up in New York City’s largest Borough, what her first job working for Marshall’s department store taught her, how she overcame the fear of speaking with strangers during her first campaign for County Controller in 2005 and her focus as County Commissioner on workforce development and on county residents who remain unemployed or underemployed even as Chester County’s economy continues to grow.

Kathi Cozzone around her first birthday.
Where did you grow up, Commissioner Cozzone?

I was born in Queens and lived there until I was nine when my parents moved to Wayne in Northern New Jersey.  At our new house, we had a giant back yard and all us kids thought we had moved to the country.  My dad was an engineer who worked his entire career for “the” telephone company back when there was only one telephone company. My father not only worked during the day but got his college degree in the evening from Bernard Baruch College in New York City.  My mom was a stay at home mom. My mother typed all his papers and pretty much ran the house since he was in school.

Were you the oldest child?

I am. I have one brother and two sisters.

What do you remember about Queens and how different life in Wayne seemed?

When we lived in the City, there weren’t as many parks, and I didn’t ride quite as far on my bike. When we moved to Wayne, all of that changed.  I was a fourth grader and everyone said I talked funny.  I quickly learned how to not speak that way anymore.

Did you have any jobs when you were a teenager?

I babysat until I was old enough to get a “real” job. My first real job was in retail, at a new Marshall’s department store just opening in town. I worked there through high school and then every summer and winter break when I was in college.  The experience taught me I didn’t want a career in retail. I have a lot of respect for people who work in retail.  The retail environment is more challenging and frustrating than the average shopper understands.  Customers are never happy and at times, can be very mean. I always had to be nice to them even when they weren’t nice to me.

What lessons did you learn at Marshall’s that stay with you today?

I think the biggest take away from my time in retail was a great sense of patience. On the service desk where I frequently worked, I often encountered customers who weren’t happy with something. Sometimes it was difficult to be helpful to people who weren’t being very nice, so I worked hard to be patient with them.

Kathi Cozzone (right), son Victor (now 10) and husband Victor in a recent family photo.

Where does that patience developed at Marshall’s serve you best today?

Probably as a mother. To be sure I am not a perfect mother.  I lose my patience just like everyone else. Patience and tolerance are something you have to have to raise a child.

So you graduate from high school, what’s next?

I had an accounting class in high school and I really liked it so I decided that’s what I wanted to go to college for.  I applied to a small number of colleges, all away from home, but close enough that I could get home when I wanted to.  I chose Trenton State College, which is now called The College of New Jersey.

Was Trenton State and accounting a good fit for you?

It was a great choice for me.  I was away from home and what 18-year-old doesn’t want that? I wasn’t far enough away that I couldn’t get home when I wanted to. I’m a fairly logical person, so I enjoyed the natural logic of figures and accounting. A lot of the people who started the accounting program with me migrated to other majors like finance and economics; I was one of a smaller group of students who finished the program.

What did you do after college?

I took a job with the Dreyfus Corporation in New York City.  I stayed with Dreyfus for about a year before moving over to Macmillan Publishing where I worked for nine or ten years. Following Macmillan, I worked for Scholastic and a couple of startups before heading back to the publishing business at Rodale in Allentown.

When did you discover you had a passion for politics?

I had always been interested and involved in politics, but not through any political party. That all changed in 2005 when my husband Victor and Senator Dinniman asked me to run for County Controller.  When they first suggested running, I didn’t think I could do it.  My first response was, ‘no!’  I couldn’t talk to myself in the mirror, and they wanted me to talk to people I had never met before.  At the time, I was looking for something different to do with my life.  My son was three, and I knew I didn’t want to follow my natural career path. I hadn’t made any decision yet, but I knew I wanted to try something service related.

kc Obama

Was running for County Controller a good experience for you?

As I got into the race, I found that I really enjoyed it. It was a true personal growth experience for me. I am grateful to my husband for having had the confidence in me and patience to convince me to run.

Did campaigning come naturally for you?

Oh gosh, no!  I was such terrible public speaker.  I was petrified.  But I slowly gained more confidence in walking up to people and introducing myself.  I enjoyed having the opportunity of hearing what the people I met had to say about the community they lived in and what was important to them.  I still find listening to and hearing from people one of the most important and interesting parts of being a Public Official.

How did the race for County Controller turn out?

I had some great people helping me and ended up with 48 percent of the vote, better than presidential candidate John Kerry had done in Chester County the year before.

Not only did I learn about myself and grow as a person, I never expected to come as close to winning as I did in 2005. The fact that I had come so close to winning told me this was something I could do and do well.  I thought I had something to offer and believed, based on the results of the 2005 Controllers race, the community thought I had something to offer as well. When then County Commissioner Andy Dinniman won the State Senate seat in 2006, I thought I would take another swing at it.

What challenges and opportunities do you see on the horizon, Kathi?

I’ve spent a lot of my eight years in office on work force development, focusing on help for folks who are unemployed or underemployed.  The loss of a job is a huge hardship to a family and I felt compelled to work to improve the programming available for those in our community who faced the challenges of being out of work.

While Chester County fared better than most counties through the great recession, we were still significantly impacted.  Seven years later, there are still a lot of Chester County residents who lost their job as the economy went down and haven’t yet found a new job as the economy has rebounded. While our current unemployment rate is low, I don’t think the numbers paint an accurate picture especially as it pertains to the people who have been out of work a very long time and are having a very difficult time becoming reemployed.

I sit on the Workforce Investment Board and co-chair the VISTA 2025 Goal for Workforce Development.  I’m happy about the new programs we’ve put in place in the last seven years and I’m particularly excited about the Platform to Employment initiative we kicked off last month. I see the initiative as a proven way to help long-term unemployed people find a job.

Another challenge Chester County faces is the proliferation of pipeline development across the county.  With the growth of the Marcellus Shale, there will continue to be pressure to build more pipelines across the county.  I’ve been appointed to Governor’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force and am the Chair of the County Government work group for the Task Force.

Kathi Cozzone

We have a lot to think about when it comes to pipelines not just in the county but across the region and Commonwealth.  There will be continual pressure on our neighborhoods and preserved lands.  We must do everything we can to ensure that whatever pipeline infrastructure comes through Chester County, the development is done in a way that does not negatively impact Chester County’s quality of life and the health and safety of our citizens.

Finally Kathi, what is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I had a boss at my second job who taught me a lot about being successful in the workplace.  This man was liked by everyone and very supportive of his employees getting promotions and realizing their career objectives. He was not at all concerned or afraid if someone who worked for him got promoted. He gave his people opportunity and encouraged them to do the best they could.  He treated his staff the same way he treated his bosses.

At the time, I was young and just a year out of college and lacked the confidence to ask more senior people for critical information I needed to complete my job. He told me it was my job to get the information and I needed to be confident and respectfully persistent when I asked for what I needed. I am not perfect, but I try to follow his example in my professional, public and private life.

I am grateful that I had the chance to work with him and very thankful for his good advice.


For Immediate Release
August 24th, 2015
Contact: Adam Swope, 610-781-8216

Sierra Club Endorses Kathi Cozzone for Re-Election as Chester County Commissioner
Democratic Running Mate Bill Scott Also Endorsed to Join Board of Commissioners

The Sierra Club of Southeastern PA has endorsed Kathi Cozzone for County Commissioner. Kathi also earned the Sierra Club endorsement in her successful runs for Commissioner in 2007 and 2011. The Sierra Club has also endorsed West Chester Borough Councilman Bill Scott, Kathi’s Democratic teammate

“I am thrilled to accept the endorsement of the Sierra Club, one of our nation’s foremost environmental advocacy groups,” said Cozzone. “During my time as Commissioner, it has been a priority for me for the County to take whatever actions it can to protect our environment. We have taken steps to reduce the carbon footprint of County operations. We have aggressively preserved open space and promoted urban center development and public transportation options to reduce suburban sprawl – a phenomenon that taxes our resources and contributes to faster climate change. More recently, I have led the charge to give residents of our County a voice on upcoming pipeline projects proposed for their communities.

“The Sierra Club has endorsed both members of the Democratic Team, Bill Scott and me, because they know we will govern with the future well-being of our children and grandchildren in mind. Climate change is the seminal issue of the 21st century. I find it disturbing that the current leader in the Republican Presidential Primary polls is an avowed climate change denier, and that most of his challengers are deniers as well. I applaud groups like the Sierra Club who trust in science and fight tirelessly against this willful ignorance to preserve our planet, and I am honored to stand with them and with Bill in that struggle.”

Kathi Cozzone is in her second term as Chester County Commissioner. Before her election in 2007, Kathi spent 20 years in various corporate finance roles. As Commissioner, she successfully brought her business experience to County government by initiating in her first year an award-winning strategic plan that has helped the County meet programmatic goals while remaining fiscally responsible. Since then, she has focused on many issues including environmental protection, public safety and job creation. Kathi lives in Exton, PA with her husband Victor and their son Victor, a student at Lionville Middle School in the Downingtown Area School District

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Kathi Cozzon
PO Box 138
Exton, PA 19341

Posted by: webmaster | August 24, 2015

Labor Council, PSEA Endorse Kathi Cozzone for Re-Election

For Immediate Release
August 24th, 2015
Contact: Adam Swope, 610-781-8216

Chester County Labor Council, PSEA Endorse Kathi Cozzone for Re-Election as Chester County Commissioner

Democratic Running Mate Bill Scott Also Endorsed to Join Board of Commissioners by the CLC

The Chester County Labor Council and the PA State Education Association have endorsed Kathi Cozzone for County Commissioner. The Labor Council has also endorsed West Chester Borough Councilman Bill Scott, Kathi’s Democratic teammate.

“I am proud to accept the endorsement of the Chester County Labor Council for my re-election campaign,” said Cozzone. “I am a firm believer that a strong middle class doesn’t come about on its own. It requires workers to have a strong voice to advocate for family-sustaining wages, good benefits, a strong retirement and safe working conditions. The Labor Council represents workers in our community who answer that call to advocacy. At the same time, our public school teachers often unjustly find themselves at the forefront of battles over these same issues, while also advocating for public policy that benefits the education of our children. As the mother of a public school student, I’m also proud to stand with PSEA.

“The ideological attacks on workers’ rights and educators that are so passionately advocated by right wing politicians in Harrisburg and in Washington, DC over that past decade are disappointing and unfortunate. Our economy and community will be stronger if we continue to work together – workers and owners, private sector and public. Bill Scott and I are committed to maintaining that kind of community by supporting and valuing all workers in Chester County.

Kathi Cozzone is in her second term as Chester County Commissioner. Before her election in 2007, Kathi spent 20 years in various corporate finance roles. As Commissioner, she successfully brought her business experience to County government by initiating in her first year an award-winning strategic plan that has helped the County meet programmatic goals while remaining fiscally responsible. Since then, she has focused on many issues including environmental protection, public safety and job creation. Kathi lives in Exton, PA with her husband Victor and their son Victor, a student at Lionville Middle School in the Downingtown Area School District.

Cozzone Appointed to Pennsylvania’s Pipeline
Infrastructure Task Force (PITF)

Cozzone to Chair the Task Force’s County Government Workgroup

West Chester – This week, Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Protection John Quigley appointed Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone to sit on the PA Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force. Within the PITF, she will chair the County Government Workgroup, one of 12 workgroups that will work together to provide Governor Wolf with policy and best practice recommendations on how best to manage the growth of the energy industry in our Commonwealth while respecting the rights, health and safety of our citizens and protecting the environment.

“Chester County is not part of our state’s natural gas drilling boom, but our citizens are affected by existing and planned pipelines carrying the natural gas through our community to refineries,” said Commissioner Cozzone. “I have been proud to take the lead in creating a transparent process for citizen input on pipeline construction within Chester County so that people are aware of projects in their neighborhoods and they have an opportunity to express their opinions.”

“I am extremely appreciative,” continued Cozzone, “to be appointed to serve on this statewide task force. Under the leadership of Governor Wolf’s Administration, our state can reap the economic benefits of natural gas extraction, while making sure ahead of time that we plan for the environmental risks, instead of cleaning up the messes. The work group that I am honored to chair will make sure that County Government stakeholders have a say in the process by which new pipelines are planned within our borders. I thank the Governor once again for this exciting opportunity.”

Kathi Cozzone, a Democrat from Uwchlan Township, is in her 2nd Term as County Commissioner.

Posted by: webmaster | April 17, 2015

Funding Award to Chester County Historical Society

Chester County Commissioners Award funding
to Chester County Historical Society as part of
Women’s History Month recognition

Submitted photo Left to right: Chester County Commissionersí Chair Terence Farrell, Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline, George Zumbano, Esq, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Chester County Historical Society, Laurie Rofini, Director, Chester County Archives and Records, and Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.

Chester County Commissioners Terence Farrell, Kathi Cozzone and Michelle Kichline presented a check for $72,000 to the Chester County Historical Society at this week’s Sunshine Meeting.

The check was part of the commissioners’ annual appropriations to organizations and non-profits throughout the county and was made as part of the formal recognition of Women’s History Month. In addition to the check, the commissioners presented a proclamation to the Historical Society commemorating Women’s History Month and noting some significant historical contributions by women in Chester County.

In his remarks thanking the commissioners for the donated funds, George Zumbano, Esq, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Chester County Historical Society said: “The Historical Society is the official history library of Chester County, housing more than 500,000 manuscripts and 25,000 printed volumes.

“We see approximately 10,000 students every year and provide many programs for them. These funds will contribute greatly to the school and youth programs that the Historical Society offers – programs that spark curiosity, teach the power of historic objects, and keep young people engaged in their local history.

Posted by: webmaster | April 17, 2015

Volunteers in the limelight

Chester County puts volunteers in limelight

At their meeting on Wednesday, April 15, the Chester County Commissioners gave a pat on the back to the county’s volunteer corps and its telecommunicators.

Evan Dominick, a nine-year Chester County employee, holds the proclamation for . He is flanked by Commissioner Terence Farell (from left), Commissioner Michelle Kichline, Deputy Director of 9-1-1 Operations John Haynes, and Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.

Commissioners’ Chairman Terence Farrell explained that the week of April 12 to April 18 is not only Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week, but also Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Commissioner Kathi Cozzone read a proclamation applauding the county’s 72 full-time and eight part-time telecommunicators for handling 282,992 emergency telephone calls for assistance during 2014. And Commissioner Michelle Kichline recited the one for county volunteers, referencing the fact that they save taxpayers more than $1 million every year.

John Haynes, the deputy director of 9-1-1 operations, said he was grateful for the recognition as well as the fact that the telecommunicators’ dedication and professionalism contribute to a “truly world-class” emergency services operation.

Jeanne Casner, who heads the county’s Health Department, thanked the commissioners for spotlighting the volunteers. About 40 volunteers provide invaluable assistance to her department, logging 3,300-plus hours a year, she said.

Rebecca Brain, the county’s public information officer, announced the debut of a new Web page, Volunteer Chesco, a site that combines all of the county government volunteer opportunities in one place. Brain said the county offers a mix of options that range from serving in the Medical Reserve Corps to working as a computer tutor to supporting Chester County’s Animal Rescue Team.

“We have an incredible spirit of volunteerism here in Chester County,” Cozzone noted, pointing out that the week also honors the many volunteers who are first-responders or serve area nonprofits.

To learn more about county volunteer opportunities, visit . It can also be accessed by going to the county’s home page – – and clicking on Volunteer Chesco.

Posted by: webmaster | April 13, 2015

Commissioner Cozzone Pens Support for Wolf Tax Plan





Op/Ed: It’s time to overhaul state’s tax code March 20, 2015
Gov. Wolf deserves credit for starting a conversation on taxing

By Kathi Cozzone, Chester County Commissioner

Most Pennsylvanians would agree that our tax code needs some work. I talk to many residents with long-standing complaints: senior citizens having trouble coping with rising school propertyCozzone taxes, small business owners paying the nation’s highest corporate net income (CNI) tax or middle class families who generally feel that the system is built to serve the super-rich at their expense. Gov. Tom Wolf deserves so much credit for starting a conversation about fundamentally improving our tax code with bold ideas that address these concerns like his plan to turbo-charge property tax relief while helping districts lower millage rates or his plan to cut the CNI tax in half while allowing another business tax – the capitol stock and franchise tax – to expire.

Most citizens of the commonwealth are trying to answer the same question, “How would these proposals affect me and my family?”  In our area, much of the property tax relief will likely go to lower-wage workers who serve our communities and senior citizens on fixed incomes; many of whom could see their property taxes eliminated altogether.  I think those are the right priorities.  But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us have nothing to gain.  As I mentioned above, our county’s vibrant business community will see significant tax relief.  Everyone in Chester County, and the entire state, will benefit from increased school funding and tougher rules for increasing school taxes that will at the very least keep them under control.

Another benefit that many might be overlooking is the cut in the Philadelphia wage tax.  I can easily tell by the lack of parking at the Exton train station at 8am, or the virtual parking lot that 202 North or the Schuylkill can become around the same time, that many suburban residents work in Philadelphia and pay that wage tax.  The Wolf plan would cut the wage tax for non-city residents 14%.  That means more money in the pockets of many Chester Countians to spend right here where they live.

The Wolf plan provides all this tax relief, closes the budget deficit left by his predecessor and makes needed investments in our schools and many other important state priorities, including funding for human services provided by the County.  He pays for this with a tax on natural gas extraction that puts Pennsylvania on par with every other gas- or oil-producing state, and small increases in the sales and income taxes of less than a percent in each case (with some expanded application of the sales tax).  Both of these increases are less than those advocated by many Republicans and Democrats in the previous legislative session’s tax shifting scheme.  It is my hope that the Republicans who control both the State House and State Senate will resist the urge to play politics. We can’t afford blind opposition to the Governor’s ideas or a status quo budget.  Let’s work together and accomplish great things for our Commonwealth.

Posted by: webmaster | October 15, 2012

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The three Chester County Commissioners with Dolly Weidman Scott, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County (DVCCC), presenting a proclamation about Domestic Violence Awareness Month on October 9, 2012.

Commissioner Ryan Costello, DVCCC Executive Director Dolly Weidman Scott, Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, Commissioner Terence Farrell

Posted by: webmaster | September 10, 2012

Spotted: Chester County Commissioner at the DNC

September 7, 2012

Credit PBS Newshour/YouTube.

Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone had a few seconds of screen time while attending the Democratic National Convention.

Chester County viewers of President Barack Obama’s Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention might have noticed a familiar face.

During PBS NewsHour’s coverage of the speech, Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone as well as former West Chester Borough Council President Bill Scott were featured in one of the crowd reaction shots.

For Printing: News Release PDF (two pages)

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