Lehighton Borough Council had recently advertised for a borough manager and got nine applications. One was Nicole Beckett, who has been the borough treasurer for about a year -and-a-half.

After going through the interview process and checking credentials of each candidate, the council by a 6-1 vote opted to hire Beckett.

Council President Grant Hunsicker remarked, "She's been with us over a year. We know her work ethics."

Brenda Koons, the borough secretary for a number of years, also was happy that Beckett is getting a shot at the position.

It's a good decision by the council. In her duration as borough treasurer, she has gotten to know the borough: it's structure, it's finances, it's people, and it's problems.

She came to Lehighton from Lansford where she got an on-the-job education of helping a borough function. She served as Lansford secretary-treasurer for six years. In that span, there was a major sewage project done, she had to juggle finances during turbulent times, and she helped with the initial work for framing a new comprehensive plan among several Panther Valley municipalities.

Her experience will be an asset to Lehighton.

In Lehighton, in the short time she's been there, she has helped the borough receive a lucrative grant for fire station expansion.

Meanwhile, she is continuing her education, working on a Master's Degree in public administration. She already has an associate degree.

Beckett has created a great rapport with the council.

She seems to have done a great job with the borough's finances and already has created a time frame for working on the 2012 borough budget.

She is organized, she knows how to deal with the public, and, she has proven she can be tough, qualities needed to be a good manager.

By hiring Beckett, the borough council is telling employees they are being noticed. They are also helping Beckett potentially proceed with a new, more financially rewarding career.

The council is now concentrating on hiring a new chief of police. So far, it is only accepting applications from within the department. There are two reasons for this: So that another officer isn't added to the department payroll and to offer an opportunity for a deserving officer to advance in rank.

It's great that Lehighton Borough Council is looking at its own personnel and offering them opportunities at promotions.

We're not sure who will be hired as police chief.

Only time will tell for sure, but it appears likely that a good candidate was selected for borough manager. We wish her well.

She worked hard to attain the achievement. We're sure she'll continue working hard on behalf of the borough and its residents.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com