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Palmerton fills two council vacancies

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    From left, Randy Gursky and Michael Ballard are sworn in for seats on the Palmerton Borough Council by Mayor Christopher Olivia during Thursday’s meeting. BRIAN W. MYSZKOWSKI/TIMES NEWS

Published January 12. 2018 12:50PM

Palmerton’s Borough Council welcomed two former members back at Thursday night’s meeting.

Randy Gursky and Michael Ballard were unanimously approved by the council members after being nominated by Vice President Kris Hoffner. Hoffner cited both men’s dedication to the council and years of hard work as qualifying factors.

Gursky and Ballard were both sworn in by Mayor Christopher Olivia at the meeting.

Gursky will assume a four-year term that was left open when newly elected Councilman Jeremy Barbosa resigned before taking office on Jan. 2. Gursky had lost out to Barbosa by only two votes in the November election.

“I enjoyed it for seven years, and I plan to enjoy it for two more years. I look forward to keeping the town safe for our people,” Gursky said.

Ballard, who was previously on council, will take over the two-year term that was left open when Councilman Bill Gallagher won a seat for a four-year position.

“I’m happy to be back, and I look forward to working with these great guys and ladies,” Ballard said.

Six residents had shown interest in filling the two seats left vacant after the Jan. 2 reorganization meeting. Council members, including Holly Sell and President Terry Costenbader, encouraged the other candidates to serve on one of the borough’s committees.

“We do have two openings on the Board of Health, we have an opening for an alternate on the Zoning Hearing Board, we have two positions open on the Shade Tree Commission, and we have an opening on the Planning Commission,” Hoffner said.

In other business

On Jan. 25, at the regularly scheduled meeting, there will be a public hearing regarding a tax credit for volunteer firefighters, fire police and emergency medical service workers who are borough residents.

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