Borough welcomes new officer
Each Fountain Hill Council meeting starts with the Pledge of Allegiance, and council members were honored to have Gavin Strelecki, a local Boy Scout working to earn his Communication Merit Badge, led them at their July 17 meeting.
Gavin currently attends Lehigh Valley Regional Academy.
No time was wasted in moving along to new business as Mayor Jose Rosado swore in Reza Imrani as a new part-time Fountain Hill police officer. Imrani previously worked at Moravian College. Chief Ed Bachert, said Imrani is on the list to become a full-time officer, but will start as a part-time officer.
Public Works committee members will be interviewing new applicants to fill the vacant position. Summer help will be leaving soon enough and the department will be left short handed.
Council member Helen Halleman asked for an update on the Public Works building
“The salt shed was down, the plumbing work is well under way, the ground is dug up and they were laying concrete,” said Anthony Branco, executive administrator.
The House and Ordinance committee met since the last meeting to review review Burning Prohibition 791 passed in 2013.
“We couldn’t come to a consent but will taking an up and down vote,” said Norm Blatt, committee chair. The committee will meet again to discuss the fire pit issue at hand and try to come to a final decision.
Fountain Hill is currently without an assistant HIPAA officer, due to the leave of absence of former Assistant HIPAA Officer Barbara Merkle.
Resolution 2017-30, which would allow council to appoint or reappoint members of various boards, commissions and positions within the Borough Organization was created. A motion was made and seconded to allow council to appoint Bethany Sebesta assistant
HIPAA officer. She is she is currently the borough finance director.
All voted yes, so Bethany will assist with any HIPAA issues.
Council had the opportunity to interview Christina Bennick, who is interested in filling one of the vacant positions on the borough Planning Commission Board. Bennick has been a resident of Fountain Hill for 18 years and is a nursing director at St. Luke’s Hospital. She has administrative training and is interested in the planning commission.
Council president Larry Rapp expressed concern with having two members of the same family on the same board. Christina’s husband, Chris, currently serves on the Planning Commission Board as chair. Rapp didn’t want people to perceive that any bias was going on.
Council member Carolee Gifford disagreed.
“She may not be swayed and will make her own decisions,” she said.
The Planning Commission Board and the Zoning/Hearing Board both have
vacancies. Bennick was asked if she would consider joining the Zoning/Hearing Board because that position needs to be filled or the board risks not having enough people to hold meetings.
Branco explained that the Zoning/Hearing Board is its own official body. Its ruling
becomes final. If someone disagrees with the ruling that it puts in place, the issue must be taken up with the Lehigh County Court. The Planning Commission gives recommendations to the Zoning/Hearing Board. Planners hear what requests have come to them and then make their recommendations.
Bennick said she was open to serving on the Zoning/Hearing Board. Council
members unanimously accepted her to the Zoning/Hearing Board.
The next Fountain Hill council meeting is Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.