BY HELEN B. FOSTER
Susquehanna Borough council member David Scales has been elected to fill the council presidency following the resignation of Roy Williams.
The action took place at the Sept. 21 meeting that also saw the resignation of Bill Perry as vice-president. Perry will remain on council but stepped down as vice-president. That position has been filled by Alan Wolf. Sue Crawford will be the new President ProTempor.
With the election of Councilman Michael Matis to the Mayor’s seat, left vacant by the death of Mayor Denise Reddon and the resignation of Williams there were two vacant council seats.
Two applications for the vacant seats were received; John Hendrickson, a life-long resident of the borough and a retired truck driver was present and spoke to council before his application was accepted and he was sworn in by Mayor Matis.
The other applicant, Debra Zayas of Washington Street and an employee of the Susquehanna Community School District was not able to attend the meeting.
Zayas is expected to attend the next council meeting and her name will be submitted to the Court of Common Pleas for confirmation as it has been more than 30 days since the seat was vacated.
Residents attended the meeting to discuss with council problems they have experienced with the lack of police protection resulting in a theft at their store and other incidents of trespass.
Mayor Matis explained there is funding for police officers but have had a problem finding qualified officers.
“We are looking at two hires tonight,” Matis said. Before council could get to the executive session to interview officers, Patrolman Joe DeMura handed in his resignation as a part time officer making the police force shy one more officer. DeMura said he was accepting a full time position in New Jersey.
There was a discussion between Councilman Perry and Parks and Recreation Committee member Albert Cuevas on work at the park along the river Cuevas has been spearheading. There seemed to be a difference of opinion regarding the equipment needed to clear the area.
According to Cuevas there is Boy Scout involvement with this project, including one Eagle Scout project for a Scout from Troop 81.
Street Commissioner Steve Glover said the water company will bring the necessary equipment when it is requested. Scales asked for an agreement from the water company in writing before the equipment is brought back to the park. “I would like to see this park project move forward by finding some common ground to get this moving forward,” Councilman Joe Varsik said.
Council will request members of the P & R committee, council and those interested in working on this park to meet at the next work session (committee meetings). Scales said this will be first on the agenda. “We will not hold up those who attend this meeting,” Scales said.
The last time council requested P & R members attend a meeting the committee members were kept out of the meeting room for a length of time and left before council got around to meeting with them. Perry suggested that if the P & R members do not show up for this meeting council should take over the committee and the P & R budget. No one commented on this suggestion. Scales complimented Cuevas on his perseverance and we will get any problems solved at the next committee meeting, Scales said.
A resident of Washington Street brought to council’s attention his request for a driveway during the sidewalk project was ignored. It was suggested the person handling the project for the borough should be contacted to find a solution to this problem.
Crawford spoke to council about plastic football helmets the SCSD would like to attach to light poles during the football season.
Perry said he wanted a contact person as to who is responsible for putting up and taking down, to have a timeline for this expression of support to the football program.
Crawford was appointed by council to be the contact person between the school and the borough.
Following a discussion concerning an eyesore property on Pleasant Avenue, it was decided to release $3,000 from the fire escrow account for payment to a refuse hauler and to set a deadline for completion of this work. The money will be paid directly to the hauler, Perry said. The Borough holds $10,000 in an escrow account for clean-up.
Following an executive session two part-time police officers, Bob Sweet and Michelle Hillard were hired.