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Summit Hill council member wants ordinance addressing those absent from meetings

Published July 24. 2019 01:32PM

A member of Summit Hill Borough Council feels if members miss the monthly meeting, they shouldn’t be paid.

Karen Ruzicka asked if an ordinance could be drawn up to address absent council members and hold their salary if a meeting is missed.

“I want people to be accountable,” she said.

Attorney Michael Greek, the borough solicitor, said he will have to review borough regulations to determine the legality of her suggestion.

In other business

• The council formally hired Portnoff & Associates to collect unpaid real estate taxes.

The vote to hire Portnoff was 6-1, with council member William O’Gurek opposed.

O’Gurek cited the high fees Portnoff charges as his reason for opposing.

“I’m 100 percent against this,” he said. He said Portnoff charges $175 “just to put a letter in the mail.”

Council member David Wargo said, “If people paid their taxes we wouldn’t be in this position.”

“We have a responsibility to close the deficit on the budget,” he said, adding that 10 percent of the taxpayers are delinquent in paying their taxes.

Council President Michael Kokinda said if someone has trouble paying their taxes due to a hardship such as losing a job or illness, they should contact the borough and the delinquency won’t be turned over to Portnoff.

Borough resident Joe Kosalko said he also was against hiring Portnoff.

• The council hired Michael Leighton as a part-time police officer.

• A special meeting will be held at 7 p.m. next Monday at the borough hall by the street committees of Summit Hill, Lansford and Coaldale borough councils to discuss how the three boroughs can work more collaboratively. The meeting will be open to the public.

• Wargo said a meeting of the Summit Hill Economic Development Council was attended by Bill Richards, who represented state Sen. John Yudichak. Richards spoke about seeking grants for a Streetscape project to improve Ludlow Street. He will attend the August meeting of the council.

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