New council member seated in Tamaqua
LIZ PINKEY/TIMES NEWS Members of the 2014-2015 Tamaqua Borough Council are (seated, left to right) John Trudich, President Micah Gursky, Justin Startzel, and Tom Cara, (standing, left to right) Secretary Treasurer Georgia Depos DeWire, Borough Manager Kevin Steigerwalt, Brian Connely, Mayor Christian Morrison, David Mace, and Police Chief Rick Weaver. Missing from the photo is councilman Dan Evans.
Tamaqua Borough Council welcomed new member Justin Startzel last night. Startzel, as well as returning members Micah Gursky, David Mace, and John Trudich were all sworn in at last night's meeting.
Mayor Christian Morrison will also be serving another term.
Gursky was re-elected as council president. Brian Connelly will continue to serve as vice-president and Trudich was selected to serve as president pro tem. Councilman Dan Evans was absent from the meeting.
Council approved a lengthy list of appointed borough officials.The most notable change is the new tax collector, Pam McCullion, who replaces long time tax collector Alan Kerr, who opted out of running in November. Raymond Bonetsky was appointed as the vacancy board chairman.
Borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt and borough secretary/treasurer Georgia Depos Dewire will both continue in their positions.Thomas Hartz Jr. will remain as fire chief and Robert Jones as the director of public works.
Council retained the services of borough solicitor Michael Greek and the zoning, health, and code enforcement services of Barry Isett & Associates. Isett and Associates will also fulfill sewage enforcement officer duties.
Larry Wittig was appointed as the citizen member of the police pension fund committee. Morrison explained that two citizens serve on the committee, one representing the borough and one the police. Wittig has been chosen by the police.
Council appointed Phil Houm to serve on both the sewer and water authorities. The vote to appoint Houm to the borough authority was a 3-3 tie, with Morrison casting the deciding vote in favor of appointing him.
Police chief Rick Weaver was reappointed. Councilman Brian Connely also moved that Weaver be given a discretionary bonus in the amount of 2%. The motion was approved. Corey Herring was hired as a part time police officer.
Council will continue to meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, excluding Election day and any other holidays that may fall on a Tuesday. Gursky noted that in the event the agenda is blank, the first meeting of the month may be cancelled.
Gursky also explained the borough is always accepting letters of interest for any positions on any of the appointed boards. Anyone who would like to serve in some capacity should submit a letter of interest. The borough is not required to advertise when there are openings.
Councilman Tom Cara reminded residents that sewer work is beginning on Swatara Street and advised council that the St. Jerome's parking lot will be impacted by the project. Steigerwalt said that all traffic will have to enter the parking lot while traveling east on 209 and all traffic will have to exit the parking lot and travel west on 209. The project is expected to last for a week.