Lansford Borough council has fired its solicitor, Robert T. Yurchak.
Council took the action following an executive session at the end of a public meeting Thursday. During the public portion of that meeting, council adopted a 2011 budget that calls for a 3.06 mill property tax increase, and revealed that it is in such deep financial trouble that bankruptcy is an option.
Concerning Yurchak, council Vice-President Mary Kruzcek said that while she could not speak for council as a whole, "there had been some issues in the past since I've been on council that I was unhappy with. So when the motion was brought to table ..." she voted in favor of letting Yurchak go.
Councilwoman Rosemary Cannon, who initiated the vote to to seek a new solicitor, declined to comment. Cannon's motion was supported by Councilwoman Danielle Smith. Councilman Tommy Vadyak opposed seeking a new solicitor, and Councilman Lenny Kovach abstained from voting.
Efforts to reach Yurchak, who has been the borough's solicitor since 2004, were unsuccessful.
Council has yet to name a replacement, but may do that when it meets at 6:30 Jan. 19.
At that same meeting, borough maintenance manager Toby Krajcirik also resigned.
Along with the tax hike, council also put a freeze on purchases (except for emergencies) and voted to pay the $275,333 in bills it owes "as money becomes available." Council also borrowed money from its sewer transmission account, which is already $97,993 in the red, to pay wages.
Vadyak said at the meeting that a $50,000 demolition grant that had been absorbed into the general fund extends the total debt to more than $300,000. However, Cannon said that the borough also has CDs, which are not reflected in the budget.
It was Vadyak who initiated a motion that the borough file for bankruptcy with the help of the state. His motion, however, died for lack of support.