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Zoning officer replaced

Published July 06. 2011 05:01PM

Penn Forest Township Board of Supervisors met Tuesday evening and after a brief executive session gave a raise, fired, hired and promoted various employees in the township.

Zoning Officer Joseph F. Steber was terminated and Darlene DeCurtis was named as the new Zoning Officer in Penn Forest Township. The former Assistant Zoning officer, DeCurtis had been filling in as interim Zoning Officer while Steber was recovering from knee surgery. Debbie Diego was fired as building secretary and Supervisor Judith Knappenberger was terminated as personnel manager. Also a motion passed unanimously to raise snow plow personnel pay to $15 per hour.

Reasons for the employee shift were unclear. No public statements were made by the township supervisors why employees were fired or what favored mid-year raises. It was also unclear if those affected employees were told before the meeting by township officials.

Supervisor Knappenberger was clearly upset by the termination after the executive session.

The newest member of the Penn Forest Board of Supervisors, Floyd Day, replacing deceased former Supervisor Harry Connolly, voted affirmatively to the motions replacing employees and seemed sure of his positions while voting at his first meeting. Day appeared prepared for the meeting and periodically the chairman slowed down to look over to see if the Day understood the motion at hand.

The township needs a pro active planning committee and made motions to appoint the following people: Matt Schutter, Dave Swinkowski, Sal Baldassano. The supervisors removed David Hish. The Planning Committee Meeting is the fourth Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

There was mixed results from a Warrior Dash event that caused traffic havoc on State Rt. 903 for some residents and businesses, Chairman Paul Montemuro told the public. One resident told Supervisors it was impossible to get out onto State Rt. 903 to get to church with the traffic. Two events collided, the Warrior Dash event held on Skirmish Property and a NASCAR event. Montemuro said as a business owner himself the event was not conducive to business.

"Nobody knew what was going to happen. This will never happen again."

He said that he had 58 cars parked at his business. The township received $25,000 from the event. There was not enough parking.

In other business, Resident Nancy Kuhn stood up and walked to the podium during public forum.

She told Supervisor Alan Katz to shut up before he said too much.

"Who do you think you are?" she asked.

Supervisor Katz's wife was sitting front row aiming a camera at Kuhn presumably destined for Supervisor Katz's personal controversial website. The Katz website has received much attention in previous supervisors meetings with some members of the public calling for him to be removed

Kuhn was unfazed but looked practiced at the podium. She called Supervisor Katz by his first name. She named names, names only he and she would know it seemed. It became personal. She talked about wives and poisoned dogs. She talked about triaxle trucks not allowed in the township and how her life has been threatened. She said that he poisoned her dog.

Katz was able to get in a sentence, "I don't know what you are talking about," he said.

The Chairman, Paul Montemuro, in a deeper than usual voice, began repeating, "Nothing to do with the township."

"This has nothing to do with township."

She said, "Alan has gotten away with slandering this township."

It was learned through the dialogue that Kuhn lives adjacent to a Katz property.

Kuhn said, "He has property next to me for sale."

Katz said to her, "Give me $200,000, and it's yours."

Kuhn said to Katz, "You're a joke!"

As she was exiting the podium Katz told her she would be on his website.

Katz said, "You will be on the web tomorrow."

Kuhn did not turn around, "I don't think that will be in your best interest."

Kuhn left the meeting. She said that she will be talking to her lawyer.

Montemuro said after the meeting that the township will refuse to entertain anymore disputes regarding Supervisor Alan Katz personal website. Montemuro said that Katz pays for his website and maintains it as a dot com as opposed to a dot org which is a government site, he said. People can either tune in, or tune out, but it is wasting time arguing about a privately owned site.

Supervisor Katz remained somewhat neutral and more subdued for the remainder of the meeting as noted by other members of the public in contrast to previous months notoriety. Whether it was the Kuhn personal confrontation or something else was not revealed at the meeting.

A motion passed to allow Scout troop 555 approved use of the township building for meetings as an alternate backup.

The next regular meeting of Supervisors will be on Aug. 1, at 7 p.m.

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