Middletown Borough Council Minutes

1

November 1, 2013

November 1, 2013 Middletown, PA 17057 The November 1, 2013 meeting of the Middletown Borough Council was called to order at 7 p.m. by Council President Christopher R. McNamara. Following the Invocation by Councilor Robert Louer, and the Pledge of Allegiance, the following Council members answered roll call: Barbara Arnold, Donald Brooks, John Brubaker, Robert Louer, Christopher R. McNamara, Judy Putric, David Rhen and Sue Sullivan. Scott Sites was absent. Also present were Borough Manager Tim Konek and Borough Secretary Chris Courogen. Council President McNamara reported he received an e-mail from Mayor Robert Reid saying the Mayor would be out of town. Council President McNamara commented on two fires in the Borough the previous week and asked for a moment of silent reflection for the fire victims. Following the moment of silence, Council President McNamara said, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the Radabaugh family and the Penn State students whose Pineford apartment had been the site of one of the fires. He also urged residents to use caution to avoid any scams when donating to help the victims, noting the Middletown Youth Club had taken the lead on efforts to aid the Radabaughs. PUBLIC COMMENT Mike Bowman commented on the Mayor’s comments about wanting a second opinion on the Borough’s Early Intervention Plan, pointing out the Borough already has received numerous reviews of its finances. Bowman also commented on the separation agreement given to former human resources director Marcia Cleland by former Council President Rodney Horton and urged council to take steps to prevent future Council Presidents from unilaterally giving employees raises. Bowman also commented on high electric rates in the past and past Councils having given historical properties to the Historical Society instead of having the Historical Restoration Commission administer them. Jack Still also commented on the Mayor’s call for a second opinion, saying the report itself was a second opinion validating the letter former Borough Manager Michael Booker had written 10 years ago. He also accused the Press and Journal, which ran an editorial endorsing Booker’s letter at the time, of “flip-flopping” on the Borough’s financial issues. Still also criticized the Mayor for what he called a failure to speak up on numerous past issues in the Borough. Councilor Arnold made a motion to approve the minutes for the meetings of September 3, 16, and 17. The motion was seconded by Councilor Putric and approved by a unanimous voice vote. Councilor Brooks made a motion to approve No. 586 for the year 2013: A resolution of the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown to purchase real estate from Dr. Thomas B. Grosh III. The motion was seconded by Councilor Rhen.

Middletown Borough Council Minutes

2

November 1, 2013

Councilor Brooks asked if the building would be deeded to the Historical Society. Council President McNamara said it will be deeded to the Borough. The motion was approved by a 7-1 vote, with Councilor Brubaker dissenting. Councilor Louer made a motion to approve No. 587 for the year 2013: A resolution of the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown to purchase real estate from Mr. Philip A. Doherty. The motion was seconded by Councilor Putric and approved by a 7-1 vote, with Councilor Brubaker dissenting. Councilor Louer made a motion to approve Resolution No. 588 for the year 2013: A resolution of the borough council of the Borough of Middletown assigning administration of the Borough’s downtown revitalization and Emaus Street extension project to the Middletown Industrial and Commercial Development Authority. The motion was seconded by Councilor Louer. Councilor Brubaker asked if we were sure the train station will be in Middletown. Council President McNamara said the Borough has held several meetings with PennDOT regarding the new train station since the current Council took office and that the project is indeed moving forward. Officials from PennDOT recently attended a press conference in the Borough to announce that all levels of government have come together to get the project moving. Councilor Sullivan asked how soon the project would start. Council President McNamara explained the train station and the extension of Emaus Street all ties together with the downtown project so there will be a lot of activity next year. The motion was approved by a unanimous 8-0 vote. Councilor Arnold made a motion to transfer the former Highway Department grounds to the Industrial and Commercial Development Authority and authorize the Borough Manager to obtain an appraisal of the property’s value. The motion was approved by a unanimous 8-0 vote. Councilor Arnold made a motion to override Mayor Reid’s veto and approve Ordinance 1295 of 2013, an ordinance accepting the Borough of Middletown Early Intervention Report and adopting the multi-year plan contained therein. The motion was seconded by Councilor Sullivan. Councilors Arnold, Brooks and Louer each made statements in favor of approving the measure. Council President McNamara then relinquished the chair to Councilor Louer and also spoke of the need to proceed with the EIP plan. After Council President McNamara reassumed the chair, a roll call vote resulted in the motion being approved by a unanimous 8-0 vote.

NEW BUSINESS
Councilor Brubaker asked that the meeting scheduled for November 18 be held instead on November 19, which is already advertised, due to the school district public hearing about the proposed new high school, which was also scheduled for November 18.

Middletown Borough Council Minutes

3

November 1, 2013

Council President McNamara said since the November 19 date was already advertised, that was no problem and the meeting would be held then. Councilor Brooks made a motion to adjourn. It was seconded by Councilor Putric and approved by unanimous consent. At 7:49 p.m., the meeting was adjourned.

Borough Secretary

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