Jacob Arner, an area developer, was appointed by Jim Thorpe's Borough Council to a newly-created board that will oversee violations of a recently adopted code. Earlier this year, the council adopted the International Property Maintenance Code and decided to create a board to hold hearings for borough residents.
The code was deemed important because the real estate crash has left more properties in the borough uninhabited. As the properties fall into disrepair and the grass and weeds grow high, the properties become dangerous and can reduce the value of other properties nearby.
The code gives the borough the legal standing to take action against property owners, even if they are banks that have foreclosed on the homes.
Arner said he would have volunteered for a position on the board last month, but did not because he lives outside the borough. This month, he learned that there is no requirement within the code that the board be local residents, suggesting rather that the board members have some experience with property construction or maintenance.
The council voted unanimously to appoint Arner to the new position.
Borough council also appointed Thomas Mase to a vacancy on the Civil Service Commission. He is currently a member of the Jim Thorpe Zoning Hearing Board, a position he will give up to take the new job.