Coun­cil ap­points mem­ber to com­mis­sion

Ryan Hand­forth named 5th mem­ber of Down­ing­town Park and Re­cre­ation panel

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Gin­ger Rae Dun­bar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

DOWN­ING­TOWN >> Bor­ough Coun­cil mem­bers Wed­nes­day unan­i­mously ap­pointed Ryan Hand­forth as the fifth mem­ber to the Park and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion.

Kevin Scal­faro, chair­man of the Parks and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion, said Hand­forth went through the in­ter­view­ing process to ap­ply for the po­si­tion and has at­tended sev­eral meet­ings. Coun­cil has the fi­nal say on ap­point­ing mem­bers to the com­mis­sion.

“We feel that he’s a good fit,” Scal­faro said.

Scal­faro said Hand­forth has ex­pe­ri­ence with mar­ket­ing and so­cial me­dia, as part of his ca­reer. Scal­faro noted that Hand­forth can help the com­mis­sion to cre­ate so­cial me­dia ac­counts on Face­book and Twit­ter to help spread the word about news and events hosted by the com­mis­sion.

Down­ing­town Bor­ough Coun­cil­man Jeff Thomas said Hand­forth is “an ex­cel­lent can­di­date.”

Coun­cil voted 5-0 to ap­point Hand­forth, who was un­able to at­tend coun­cil’s meet­ing.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent An­thony “Chip” Gazzerro said they ap­pre­ci­ated the hard work by the com­mis­sion­ers. The Park and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion mem­bers have launched new events such as a Kids Field Day last Sep­tem­ber.

Coun­cil unan­i­mously es­tab­lished a His­toric Com­mis­sion in Au­gust 2014, and a sep­a­rate Park and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion, re­plac­ing a com­bined com­mis­sion which dis­banded six months prior to then. Coun­cil mem­bers said at that time that they dis­banded the orig­i­nal com­mis­sion known as the His­tor­i­cal and Parks Com­mis­sion be­cause they wanted sep­a­rate com­mis­sions with dif­fer­ent fo­cuses. Sev­eral res­i­dents ex­pressed con­cerns that it was a con­tro­ver­sial move to dis­band the com­mis­sion rather than di­vide it. Coun­cil noted it would be eas­ier to start the com­mis­sion over with a fresh start.

Coun­cil ap­pointed mem­bers

to its two com­mis­sions, the Park and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion and the His­toric Com­mis­sion, in Fe­bru­ary 2015 – a year af­ter the ma­jor­ity of coun­cil voted to dis­band the sin­gle com­mis­sion. Ash­ley Orr was ap­pointed in July as the fourth mem­ber on the Park and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion.

Ginny Pierce is the only mem­ber from the orig­i­nal com­mis­sion that cur­rently serves on the His­toric Com­mis­sion. There is one va­cancy on that com­mis­sion. Pierce had stepped down from the com­mis­sion prior to it be­ing dis­banded.

Both com­mis­sions are al­lowed five vot­ing mem­bers. As en­acted by coun­cil in April 2015, the His­toric Com­mis­sion al­lows up to two non-bor­ough res­i­dents as vot­ing mem­bers. Coun­cil­man Phil Dague, who is the coun­cil li­ai­son to the His­toric Com­mis­sion, said at the time of the ap­proval by coun­cil that he did not want con­tribut­ing vol­un­teers who re­side out­side of the bor­ough to lose in­ter­est in the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­cause they could not vote.

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