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Sparks fly at committee workshop

Published January 29. 2014 05:00PM

In addition to plans to move forward with a borough manager position in 2014, tempers flared between one Slatington resident and some committee members at Monday night's Finance/Planning/Zoning, Public Safety and Human/Community Services Committee Workshop meeting.

The back-and-forth exchange began during the public comment portion of the meeting, specifically when former councilwoman Kris Burek said she wanted to know what was being done, besides loans or grants, to raise revenue for a generator for borough hall.

When member Jon Rinker said they were looking into grants, Burek reiterated that she was not interested in talking about grants.

"So you don't know of any other way to raise money than grants?" Burek asked.

She then mentioned a tenant registration form each rental property owner is required to fill out yearly. If not, the borough can fine the landlord.

"Actually, there's a new procedure going into effect, probably in February, for that," said Council Vice President Gwyneth Neff, noting the return of those forms would soon be monitored.

"But you could have done that for last year as well and you haven't," Burek continued.

Member David Schnaars remarked that Burek, who has been complaining about the issue for some time, does not seem to be satisfied even in light of the new procedure.

Later, council President Daniel Stevens said the same tenant registration issue had been brought up before at a prior meeting, and that it had been explained then that the last time the borough prosecuted two people for not filing the form, it had cost the borough more than double in legal fees than the fines that had been levied.

He referred to it as a "money-losing proposition."

In other news, Stevens removed himself from the chambers as committee members began to discuss the position of borough manager. Stevens has previously expressed an interest in the position.

Schnaars had noted during council's regularly scheduled meeting two weeks ago that they had left room in the 2014 budget for a borough manager and that the job description should be reviewed so they could then advertise for the position.

He, along with Neff and Rinker, reviewed the description for several minutes before Neff announced that they would get the item on next month's regularly scheduled borough council meeting agenda so that it could hopefully be approved and then advertised.

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