Bucks County Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia on Friday called upon Bucks County Planning Commission member Joan Cullen to resign, citing remarks that have surfaced recently on social media that Marseglia called “hateful, ignorant, and unacceptable.”
Cullen, who also serves as vice president of the Pennridge School District’s Board of School Directors, is the subject of an online petition calling for her resignation from that board as well. The petition arose in part over social media posts in which Cullen denied the existence of systemic racism, sexism, and homophobia.
“The County of Bucks strives to represent all of its residents equally, with respect and fairness,” Marseglia said in a statement. “Comments made by Bucks County Planning Commission member Joan Cullen are hateful, ignorant and unacceptable. They do not reflect the values of Bucks County.”
While it is unclear how recently Cullen posted all of the comments, some of which date back to early 2019, they were copied from her Twitter feed and re-posted recently on the Facebook page of Pennridge School Board Watch.
Some of Cullen’s statements came in response to a Twitter post dated July 21, 2019, stating, in part, “There is no systemic racism in America.” Cullen posted a response stating: “I’ll add to this. There’s also no systematic sexism, homophobia, etc. Those who try to convince you you’re being held back by someone else DO NOT have your best interests in mind. They NEED you to be a victim, so they can control you. Break free! The only one holding you back is U.”
In another post, dated Feb. 20, 2019, Cullen responds on a Twitter thread discussing white students wearing blackface: “You’re clinging to a narrative because there’s no defense of the blatant, outrageous, coordinated effort to falsely smear 60+ million ppl as racistsexisthomophobicmisogynistbigots.”
That comment also was re-posted this week by Pennridge School Board Watch.
Marseglia’s statement said that because Cullen was appointed to the Bucks County Planning Commission by a prior administration, the current Board of Commissioners has no authority to remove her. She called on Cullen to resign, and said that if she chooses to serve out her term until January 2021, Cullen will not be reappointed.
Following is the full text of Commissioner Marseglia’s statement: (Bolded by Bucks Co)
“The County of Bucks strives to represent all of its residents equally, with respect and fairness. Comments made by Bucks County Planning Commission member Joan Cullen are hateful, ignorant, and unacceptable. They do not reflect the values of Bucks County. Ms. Cullen was not appointed by this current administration, and we do not have the authority to remove her from her appointed position. As Chair, however, I call on her to resign this position immediately. Should she choose to ignore this request and finish out her term, which ends in January 2021, I assure the public she will not be reappointed to any position by this Board of Commissioners.”