Former Lansford Borough Council president Robert Gaughan worked hard in his years on the board, but now, he says, it's time to move on. Gaughan resigned from his council seat as of Monday; council accepted the resignation at a public meeting Wednesday.
"Its been an interesting journey though municipal government," he said. "I have an incredibly high regard for the borough's administrative staff with whom I have worked over past eight years, and the current staff is exceptional in every way."
Gaughan praised House Speaker Keith McCall, who plans to retire at the end of the year.
"Even though were not of the same party, I have high regard and compliments for Speaker McCall. He's done an exceptional job over the years of representing Lansford Borough. I personally feel he has been a real asset to the borough and want to thank him for his effort," Gaughan said.
He also had good things to say about borough solicitor Robert T. Yurchak. "I also thank the solicitor. He's been a real keystone for my service with the borough. Bob Yurchak has been absolutely incredible. I cannot speak more highly of an individual with his attention to detail and his service to the borough also."
But it's time, he said.
"I am a strong advocate of term limits. I had made a decision months ago that I would not seek reelection," he said. "I had anticipated actually giving up the president's chair as of December to allow someone else to ease into that office."
Given that Gaughan has a lengthy commute to work, he believes it would be better for someone who is either retired or works much closer to or even in the borough to hold that office.
"In a borough like Lansford, without a borough manager, the president acts as a borough manager and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of all of the departments," Gaughan said. "The president appoints committee chairs and works through those committee chairs to make sure things happen and happen in a timely manner."
Because of his commute, Gaughan said he is "out of the borough 12-13 hours a day. That, coupled with the hours required by the council position, leave too little time to spend with his wife, Wanda. "I would rather spend more time with my spouse than in committee meetings six or seven times a month," he said. "People don't realize the amount of work that goes into municipal government."
Appointed to council in 2003 to replace the late Paul Tichy, Gaughan has handled the demands of the office with his trademark calm, deliberative demeanor and wry sense of humor. He has helped guide council through some tumultuous times, including multimillion federal lawsuits and a major storm sewer separation project that has taken years to complete.