Wednesday, October 11, 2017

And the Mural of the Story Is ... A New Law

For all of you who were hoping for a dramatic last minute change of heart on the ongoing sage of borough council's vital mural law debate, only Councilman Joe Kirkland provided some drama when he changed his vote to oppose it.

After all, this is borough council, not a Disney movie.

Having dealt with this interesting but ultimately secondary concern, council moved forward with the single most important thing it does each year the budget.

No, I'm just kidding.

Council President and Finance Committee member Dan Weand said there had been some discussion about ways to cut costs and increase revenues, but he couldn't discuss them because .... well, to be honest that was not entirely clear.

I suppose we should just rest assured its in capable hands.

But Council member Dennis Arms isn't so sure. He noted that he has provided several suggestions to cut costs but they are all still in the draft budget. He did not specify other than to say "we're still spending $100 a month for "plant-scaping here in borough hall. I don't need to see plants when I come in to pay my $300 water bill.

And Council Vice President Sheryl Miller, who has refused Weand's request that she resign from the finance committee, said engineering costs from the borough authority's engineering form, BCM, "put us over-budget in 2016. It is every council member's responsibility to be looking at this budget, not just the finance committee."

Arms also agitated for more discussion about replacing retiring Borough Manager Mark Flanders, who steps down at the end of December.

Mayor Sharon Thomas suggested a transition team that puts Assistant Borough Manager Justin Keller in the job now to save time and money. "I've been through this a few times and we always spend a lot of money to decide we need to hire from within," she said.
A rendering of the homes proposed for the 500 block of Lincoln Ave.

There was a surprise visit from the Governor's Office of Local Government, who responded to Miller's call for a review of salaries and operations saying that is what was done in 2007 and the office remained available to undertake another.

In other news, council undertook a conditional use hearing for a proposal to build six attached single family homes in the 500 block of Lincoln Avenue.

And a review of the proposed land bank law, which council voted to advertise, with only Arms voting against.

With that, here are the Tweets.

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