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Bowmanstown appoints new mayor

Published December 05. 2018 12:21PM

Bowmanstown Borough Council appointed a new mayor Tuesday evening. Former Mayor William Ravert stepped down from the position to fill the council vacancy left through the unexpected passing of council member Burdell Steigerwalt in October.

Both Zachary Snyder and current council member Norman Engle Jr. vied for the position of mayor.

After discussing it in executive session, the council voted to appoint Snyder to the position of mayor to finish out Ravert’s term, which ends in 2020. If Snyder decides to continue as mayor, then he will have to run in the next election.

“I thank you for your confidence in me,” Snyder said to the council.

Snyder, his wife and four children have been residents of Bowmanstown for about 10 years, he told the council before the vote. He works as a claims adjuster and has used his skills to assist several municipalities.

“I would like to get involved in the community and I think this is the best fit for me in the borough,” he told the council.

The council also voted to fill the positions of emergency management coordinator and deputy emergency management coordinator. Three men came forward expressing interest in the position: Jay Reid, Brian Uhnak and Frank Haas.

Reid told the council he has been a firefighter for 32 years in the borough and with Hanover Township before that. He has also taken 120 courses, served as an emergency management technician for 12 years and worked with emergency management of hazardous material. He currently serves as captain of the fire police and other positions and has worked as a manager both professionally and in emergency services.

Uhnak said he has been with the Bowmanstown Volunteer Fire Company for 20 years, worked as an emergency management technician since 1997 and is a 911 dispatcher. He also has numerous certifications from the Department of Health, and has worked as assistant manager at Palmerton Ambulance and Lehighton Ambulance. Uhnak is also a Bowmanstown trustee.

Haas has been a firefighter for 18 years and is with the Palmerton Fire Company No. 1. He has taken several classes and has training in hazardous materials. Haas has also served as secretary, treasurer, member of the Board of Directors and first lieutenant during his years in emergency services.

Council President Kara Scott commented on how Pennsylvania is facing a significant shortage of volunteer firefighters.

“We are facing a crisis right now. Thank you for all you are doing for your communities,” she said.

After deliberation, the council voted to appoint Uhnak as the emergency management coordinator and Reid as the deputy emergency management coordinator.

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