- Michelle H. Kichline
Michelle H. Kichline
Michelle Haris Kichline was elected to her second four-year term to the Chester County Board of Commissioners on November 5th, 2019. She has served as a County Commissioner since December 16th, 2014. Chief among her priorities as Commissioner are economic growth in Chester County, preventing drug abuse, enhancing transportation options, and preserving the character of our communities through open space preservation.
Commissioner Kichline grew up in Chester County, Pennsylvania, after her parents immigrated to the United States from communist Hungary. Her parents chose to live in Chester County because of its great schools, strong communities, sense of place, and abundant job opportunities. As a student, Commissioner Kichline graduated from Conestoga High School, earned her bachelor of arts (B.A.) in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and later earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. She then clerked for the Hon. Stanley R. Ott, a judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. Later, she became a practicing attorney at Wistler Pearlstine, where she represented townships and school districts. Prior to her appointment and subsequent elections as a Chester County Commissioner, she served on Tredyffrin Township’s Board of Supervisors from 2010 to 2013, which she chaired for the last two years of her tenure. She also served on Tredyffrin Township’s Zoning Hearing Board and was its first female chair in 2007.
Commissioner Kichline resides in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, with her husband Michael. They have two children.
Jobs and the Economy
Under Commissioner Kichline’s leadership, Chester County has maintained its AAA bond rating from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch, ensuring the financial stability of Chester County. She has also been part of the initiative known as Venture ChesCo, which is tasked with bringing tech-entrepreneurs and start-ups to Chester County. Working with Ben Franklin Partners, this initiative invests $4 million, half by Ben Franklin and half by Chester County, in new tech companies and those looking to apply new technologies to their existing business operations. Additionally, Commissioner Kichline has held leadership roles in developing and putting into practice Chester County’s comprehensive economic development plan, designed to keep Chester County a great place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.
Drug Abuse Prevention
Working in conjunction with the Department of Drugs and Alcohol, Commissioner Kichline is also leading the charge for Chester County’s response to the opioid crisis that has taken thousands of lives in Chester County. She initiated the Chester County Color 5K, an annual local race that raises funds to benefit victims of the opioid crisis. Funds raised through these events support the C.O.P.E. Program, which provides one-to-one support for overdose survivors and their families, and it is now available at all of Chester County’s hospitals. It also provides overdose prevention information and outreach to first responders, hospital staff, family members and friends. Importantly, these funds provide expedited admission into detox facilities.
Commissioner Kichline has served on the Paoli Transit Task force since 2010. In 2014 she was part of the advisory group that worked with PennDot, Amtrak and SEPTA to obtain $30 million in funding for phase one of the Paoli Transit project in Chester County. In 2019, the updated Paoli Train Station was completed, and it boasts greater accessibility and accommodations for individuals with physical disabilities. Additionally, under Commissioner Kichline’s leadership as the Chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners, SEPTA announced that it would resume train service to the City of Coatesville as part of its revitalization plans.
Open Space Preservation
As a County Commissioner, Michelle Kichline has prioritized the preservation of Chester County’s forestlands, wetlands, and farmlands. Working with the County’s Department of Open Space Preservation, Commissioner Kichline has helped ensure that nearly thirty percent of Chester County’s land has been preserved through various easements. In fact, Chester County now has more acreage of preserved land than the entire land areas of the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh combined. In other words, if Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were nothing more than nature preserves, Chester County would still have more preserved land than the two of them combined. Commissioner Kichline will continue to prioritize open space preservation as she continues her service to the residents of Chester County.
Boards and Commissions
• Co-Chair, Vista 2025
• Secretary, Board of Directors for the Chester County Historical Society
• Board Member, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)
• Board Member, Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC)
• Board Member, Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Assoc. (GVFTMA)
• Board Member, Delaware Valley Regional Finance Authority
• Board Member, Uptown Knauer Performance Arts Center
• Nominating Committee Member, Chester County Council of Boy Scouts of America
• Ex Officio Member, Chester County Conservation District
• Regional Advisory Committee Member, Federal Emergency Management Agency