Sparks fly at Slatington committee workshop
Things became a bit heated during the public comment portion of last night's Slatington committee workshop meeting for Finance/Planning/Zoning, Public Safety, and Human/ Community Services.
Former Slatington Borough Councilwoman Kris Burek said she was disappointed the borough does not have the money to purchase a generator.
Burek offered several avenues for raising revenue, including fining apartment owners who don't provide proper lists of their tenants each year, enforcing moving permits, gathering per capita taxes and inspecting rental units. Councilman Jon Rinker later brought up the pros and cons of purchasing a generator for the police station and/or borough hall.
Next Burek said, referring to Councilwoman Gwyneth Neff, "Neff, on my website, I put a rather detailed explanation about billing the water and sewer minimums to every rental unit in this borough. I have spelled out my numbers, I want to see yours."
After another pointed remark aimed at Councilman David Schnaars, she accused borough council President Daniel Stevens of "making some rather derogatory comments" about her.
"Please understand something, we the public have one privilege you do not have," Burek said, "and that is, short of making a threat, we can say anything we want about an elected official, president on down. OK?
"As an elected person, you cannot say the same about a private citizen … Watch your mouth, OK? If it comes back to me again, you and I will have a dance, and it ain't gonna be pretty."
Stevens replied that, "Let me say I believe we have the same rights to free speech as all the citizens do. I don't believe we gave those up at any time when we became elected officials ...
"Apparently you think that because we're elected officials, we have no right to respond to the general public. We do have the right to respond."
In regard to agenda items, committee members talked of possibly budgeting next year for the purchase of new guns for the police department.
They also noted that runners of a D&L Marathon and Half Marathon, starting in Northampton, would enter Slatington sometime on Sunday morning, Nov. 3, by the trailhead downtown and that traffic on Main Street will therefore be halted periodically.
In addition, they noted that Trick or Treat night will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Rinker said that the first day of next year's weeklong sesquicentennial celebration is almost fully planned.
Earlier, during the public comment portion of the meeting, Slatington 150th History Committee Co-Chair Robert Stettner asked the members to consider becoming a sister city with Fair Haven, Vt., known as "The Slate Center of the Nation."