Two administrative vacancies exist in Lehighton. The borough is without a manager for several months. It is without a chief of police since February 22.

While there is indication the position of borough manager will be filled in 2011, the council hasn't stated if it intends to name a new police chief any time soon.

The council has advertised and received resumes from numerous individuals interested in the position of borough manager.

While it isn't known if a new manager will be selected from this batch of applicants, the council should discuss in public forum soon whether the vacancy should or will be filled.

At a budget meeting last week, councilman Dale Traupman complained that overtime by employees is presently not monitored by anyone.

Could the council control the overtime and the work of the employees without a manager? Other municipalities do.

But there are other reasons a manager might be considered. These reasons include general command of all borough departments, checking on government grants, monitoring the status of construction projects, and, in essence, managing the borough.

The council must weigh the pros and cons of the position and then act accordingly. If none the present applicants are pleasing to the council, then it needs to re-advertise or explain to the public why the position isn't being filled.

Regarding a police chief, the council should also end procrastination on this issue.

Corporal Joseph Lawrence, a long-time officer in the police department, has been capably running the department. The council has made him the officer in charge, but he's not the police chief.

In the past, Lawrence has indicated he isn't interested in the position of chief. If he has changed his mind, then council should name him chief, give him the appropriate responsibilities, and pay him a accordingly.

Otherwise, the council should appoint a permanent administrative figure to the department.

Both the borough manager and chief of police positions are very important. Hopefully the council will, early in the new year, either hire people to fill them or make an official determination that the positions aren't needed.

Refusing to act means the council is prolonging unfinished business.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com [1]