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Slatington council fills open seat

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    Slatington’s newly selected Councilman Ronald Kratz, right, shakes hands with Slatington Mayor Walter Neidermeyer. Also pictured is Slatington Councilman David Schnaars. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS

Published January 22. 2019 12:53PM

The Slatington Borough Council met Monday night for a special meeting to select a replacement for Councilman Russell Hallman, who passed away in late December.

Four residents stepped forward indicating an interest in the seat: Lisa Fisher, Gwyneth Jones, Ed Ziegler and Ron Kratz. Each presented their reasons for wanting to fill the seat on council.

“I just felt this was one way to pay tribute to him,” said Jones, who was a companion of Hallman for many years.

In the past, Jones served on the council for seven years, filling the roles of president and Finance Committee chair.

“You don’t always see eye-to-eye, but you’re always looking for the best for the community,” she said about her time on council.

An Army veteran, Lisa Fisher continues to serve her community, working with the Parks and Recreation Committee, teaching swimming lessons, painting the pavilion and being involved with planning events.

“I do like this town,” she said.

Fisher said she is the kind of person WHO sets her mind on a goal and completes it. She thinks Slatington should work to encourage new businesses to open there and could use some improvements visually.

“I want this town to look very nice,” she said.

When it came to his turn, Ed Ziegler said, “I don’t think I could be an asset; I know I could be an asset. I’m available 24 hours a day.”

A retired man, Ziegler also talked about some of his problem-solving experiences from his days of employment. Passionate about Slatington, he attends every council meeting and always speaks when the meeting opens to the floor.

“I certainly thank you for your community service,” said Councilman Jason Ruff. “All you do does not go unnoticed.”

Ronald Kratz also presented his case for why he should be selected for the council.

Formerly on the Zoning and Hearing Board, Kratz said he hasn’t served recently due to his work schedule. Now that he doesn’t have to travel as much, he thought this would be a good time to step forward.

With a background in business and economics, Kratz said he thinks he would be an asset in particular with preparing the budget.

“I want to protect the financial health and promote the community,” he said.

Following a short recess, the council reconvened and voted. They needed at least four votes to successfully select a new council member and they did: Ronald Kratz.

“Very good,” Kratz said about being selected. “I’m excited to work with my new colleagues.”

“Slatington has a lot of natural assets and a sense of community that can be fostered further,” he said.

Kratz said he looks forward to working with the various organizations in the community to create synergy between them that furthers the community as a whole.

To remain in office, Kratz will have to run in the next election in November. Council President Daniel Stevens said there will be six seats open, as five of the council members will be up for re-election.

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