Summit Hill council hires zoning officer, alternate
Summit Hill Borough Council got two applicants for the zoning officer position and agreed to hire them both; one as the zoning officer and the other as the alternate.
Dan Matika will be the zoning officer while David Hiles is the alternate. Both will be paid $17 per hour. Hiles offered to work for free, but council said to do that he will have to donate his wages to the borough.
The zoning officer generally works four hours a week. Hiles will only serve when Matika is not available or has a conflict of interest.
Matika and Hiles succeed Robert DeFuso, who resigned earlier this year.
Hiles was present at the meeting and spoke to the council, expressing his desire to serve as the zoning officer without a salary.
He said, “I put my name in for zoning officer and to be honest about it, I really don’t want the job.” He said he applied because he has been complaining at recent meetings about zoning issues and was “taught by my dad that if you’re going to complain, to be part of the solution.”
He outlined a list of suggestions for the council if he was named to the position, including having input on zoning law changes and updating the zoning regulations.
A top priority would be to develop a handbook for landlords on zoning regulations.
Hiles also suggested that the zoning officer should give any violation notices to the police department to enforce, since zoning officers don’t carry weapons or wear bulletproof vests. He cited the slaying of a zoning officer in Monroe County by a resident as an example of the dangers of the job.
Attorney Michael Greek, the borough solicitor, said zoning must be enforced by the zoning officer and not the police. He said Quality of Life issues can be enforced by the police department.
It was Hiles who suggested naming both Matika and himself as zoning officers, saying, “Zoning issues happen 24/7, 365.” He told the council, “If I’m not considered for the position, I still would like to be considered as a co-zoning officer.”
He said, “It’s pretty much giving the town an extra set of eyes and ears.”
The decision to hire Matika and Hiles was by a 6-0 vote. Council member Gregory Kosciolek was absent.