A new board chairman is at the helm of the Lower Towamensing Township Board of Supervisors.
The board unanimously agreed at its reorganizational meeting on Monday to appoint Supervisor Brent Green as its new chairman.
Green, a 2012 graduate of Palmerton Area High School, is believed to be the youngest supervisor/ chairman of any municipality in Carbon County.
Supervisor Jesse Mendez made the motion to appoint Green, which was seconded by Green.
Prior to the motion made by Mendez, Supervisor Ron Walbert made a motion to appoint Mendez as chairperson. But, Mendez declined to accept the appointment.
Afterward, the board unanimously agreed to reappoint Mendez as board vice chairman.
Also as part of its reorganization, supervisors:
- Appointed Christine Wentz as township secretary/treasurer at a salary of $37,506, per the approved 2013 budget. As part of her benefits, Wentz will receive 10 days paid vacation, 12 paid holidays, a pension, and no paid lunch.
- Appointed Jillyan Sterling as part-time assistant township secretary.
- Appointed attorney Jim Nanovic as solicitor.
- Appointed Duane Dellecker as zoning officer.
- Appointed Carbon Engineering as the engineering firm.
- Appointed Ron Tirpak/Carbon Engineering as engineering firm for Act 537.
- Appointed Barry Wentz Sr. as chairman of the vacancy board.
- Appointed Walbert as state convention voting delegate.
- Appointed Rory Koons as civil defense and emergency management.
- Appointed Spotts, Stevens & McCoy as sewage enforcement officer and well enforcement officer.
- Appointed, on a 2-1 vote, Holly Heintzelman as zoning hearing board solicitor. Walbert was opposed.
- Appointed James Ord, Keith George and James DeRosa to the zoning hearing board.
- Appointed the remaining terms of Angela Farrell, five years; Gerry Madden, five years, Jay Mullikin, six years, and Janice Mack, one year, to the planning commission.
- Appointed Charles Shupp as township road foreman. Shupp will be responsible to call out part-time and casual employees as needed at his discretion. The position is part-time with benefits.
- Appointed Kathy Wallace as township road foreman assistant. Wallace will be responsible to call out road crew at her discretion in the absence of the road foreman. The position is part-time with benefits.
- Approved a motion to employ supervisors Ron Walbert, Jesse Mendez and Brent Green as casual employees to perform work on the roads when necessary and/or needed on a call-out basis at the discretion of the township road master.
- Approved a motion to recommend to the township's Board of Auditors the supervisors' pay and benefits for those supervisors hired as township employees. Elected supervisors compensation is fixed at $1,875 per year as per the Second Class Township Code. These amounts are paid on a monthly basis of $156 per month.
- Appointed Shupp, Wallace, Tim George and Robert Balch as part-time employees.
- Appointed Tim Strohl and Paul Strohl as casual employees.
- Agreed to set the benefits for part-time employees and part-time employed supervisors after employee has worked 1,000 hours or more in the current calendar year at 10 paid vacation days; $100 shoe allowance reimbursement with presentation of receipt; and paid holidays on New Year's Day, Presidents Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and employees' birthday. Part-time employees must work the day before and after the holiday to receive the holiday pay. All employees will receive a 2-percent increase. These wages were approved with the 2013 budget.
- Agreed to set the benefits for casual employees that after every 100 hours worked, the employee will receive two hours paid vacation; a $100 shoe allowance reimbursement with presentation of receipt; and no paid lunch.
- Agreed to set the treasurer's bond at $1.2 million, to be checked and verified by Nanovic.
- Approved depositories for township funds to First Northern Bank & Trust and PLIGIT.
- Assigned Signature Authority that states the township secretary/treasurer must sign every obligation and every check. A second and third signature of a designated supervisor shall be required on every check as follows: Ronald Walbert, Jesse Mendez and Brent Green.
- Agreed to continue to hold the township's board of supervisors regular meeting at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the township municipal building.
- Agreed to hold the township's board of supervisors' reorganizational meeting at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.
- Agreed to hold the township recreation board's regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month.
- Agreed to set the mileage rate at 56.5 cents per mile.
- Agreed to set expense allowance for state convention: Mileage, room and registration expenses shall be paid by the township. Other allowances, such as food, etc,. shall be $50 per day for four days. The persons attending shall be compensated at his/her regular hourly wage for four days attendance at the state convention.
- Agreed to renew the snow removal and police protection agreement with Palmerton Borough.
- Adopted a resolution for the 2013 fee schedule.
Immediately afterward, supervisors held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
At that point, Mendez thanked Walbert for leading the township the past several years.
"I want to thank Ron for the last five years," Mendez said. "I hope you continue with us, Ron."
Walbert told Mendez he doesn't serve the township for his own purposes.
"It's all about the people," Walbert said. "Not about me."
Green also thanked Walbert, whom he said worked extremely hard on the Act 537 plan, and added the township has made a lot of progress.
He then thanked Walbert "for doing a wonderful job", and said he hoped Walbert would help guide him as he makes the transition to board chairman.
At the end of the board's regularly scheduled meeting, Mendez again congratulated Green on his nomination.
Walbert then took a moment to thank everyone for allowing him to serve as board chairman the past five years, and said he expects the township will continue to move forward with Green as its chairman.