No help for Lansford
At July's Jim Thorpe Borough Council meeting the issue of giving the Borough of Lansford financial and clerical assistance was discussed and voted on. The Borough voted not to enter into an inter-municipal cooperative agreement with Lansford in terms of financial and clerical assistance.
Lansford was in need of assistance with conducting payroll and Jim Thorpe Borough Manager, Wesley Johnson, offered to help. Johnson aided Lansford with the payroll once and requested that the borough council vote to go into a contract with Lansford and continue to aid them.
"They (Lansford) called me the day before their pay day. They had no capability to pay 21 of their employees. I took it upon myself to take one of our employees to Lansford to write their paychecks for them," stated Johnson.
During public comment Planning Commission member, Jerry Hoare, questioned how the borough could financially aid Lansford and offer it's time, staff, and services.
"Lansford came to us for help in the effort of inter-governmental cooperation. If that was something to undertake to help Lansford or Nesquehoning or whoever else they have to pay us for that," said Council President, John McGuire.
"When we hired our manager one of the agreements in his contract is that if he wanted to do any side work - consulting with someone else not affecting his time, then he could do that," he added.
Borough Council member, Joanne Klitsch, stated that people in the borough were questioning how the borough had the means to offer this kind of assistance.
"We represent these people. You overstepped your bounds," she added.
Klitsch questioned Johnson, "Who gave you permission to go up there?"
Johnson stated that he took it upon himself to aid Lansford in their time of need.
"When I was interviewed, I was instructed to look for opportunities of inter-municipal cooperation," he said
Johnson later stated, "I wanted to aid another borough and there wasn't any attempt at deception."
Borough Council Vice President, Justin Yaich, voiced concerns of getting involved financially with Lansford. He feels that if Lansford is struggling he is worried how it would affect the borough.
Mayor Michael Sofranko stated, "I don't think Wes (Johnson) stepped out of line to go help them in an emergency situation. I do however agree with Justin (Yaich)."
McGuire agreed with Yaich and Mayor Sofranko.
When it came time to authorize whether or not to enter into an inter-municipal cooperative agreement between Jim Thorpe and Lansford for financial reasons no one made the motion to go forward with it.
Yaich motioned to not have anymore financial involvement with Lansford and the borough council voted in favor.