Coun­cil fills 4th Ward seat

Ap­point­ments also made for other va­can­cies

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

POTTSTOWN » Bor­ough coun­cil filled nu­mer­ous va­can­cies on boards and com­mis­sions Mon­day, in­clud­ing one of its own.

Trenita Lind­say was cho­sen from among four ap­pli­cants as the new coun­cil mem­ber for the Fourth Ward, which was va­cated last month by Den­nis Arms. The vote was not unan­i­mous. Coun­cil­man Ryan Proc­sal said while he thought Lind­say was a fine can­di­date, that the fi­nan­cial back­ground of Philip Smock — the other ap­pli­cant who showed up at last week’s coun­cil meet­ing to be in­ter­viewed — might bet­ter the serve the bor­ough as it tries to fig­ure out how to deal with the spi­ral­ing prop­erty as­sess­ment challenges erod­ing the tax base — and Pottstown’s pri­mary reve-

nue stream.

He and We­and voted against Lind­say’s ap­point­ment, which was made by Coun­cil­man Joe Kirk­land and sec­onded by Coun­cil­woman Rita Paez.

The other two ap­pli­cants were An­gela Kear­ney and Ken Supin­ski Jr.

The next ap­point­ment was to the sin­gle va­cancy on the newly formed Land Bank Board.

In April, when the rest of the ap­point­ments were made, the board had voted unan­i­mously to re­ject the ap­point­ment of Twila Fisher to the Land Bank board.

The di­rec­tor of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment for The Hill School who head up the school’s Ho­bart’s Run ini­tia­tive, Fisher was among those con­sulted on the for­ma­tion of the board.

How­ever, twice former coun­cil mem­ber Sh­eryl Miller, who was also in­volved in the for­ma­tion of the board, spoke out against Fisher’s ap­point­ment, say­ing it is a con­flict of in­ter­est for Fisher to serve be­cause Ho­bart’s Run is in­volved in the pur­chase and ren­o­va­tion of prop­erty, and the Land Bank could be used for its ben­e­fit.

How­ever Coun­cil­man Proc­sal said he had spo­ken with Fisher and was con­vinced it would not be a prob­lem. Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Dan We­and noted she had served on a pre­vi­ous land bank board in Berks

County.

The 4-2 vote to ap­point her came only af­ter Kirk­land had pro­posed the ap­point­ment of Madi­son Mor­ton to the board, a mo­tion that was de­feated by the same 4-2 vote mar­gin.

Then it was time to de­cide on two open seats on the board of the Pottstown Down­town Im­prove­ment Dis­trict Author­ity.

The board fol­lowed the re­quest of Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Sheila Du­gan and ap­pointed Pamela Gormesh to one of the seats. Gormesh had been pre­vi­ously in­ter­viewed by the board and rec­om­mended for ap­point­ment.

Three oth­ers have ap­plied for the sec­ond seat — Gabrielle David­heiser — who also has al­ready been in­ter­viewed, and Thomas Hyl­ton and Steve Everett, who have not been in­ter­viewed.

At Du­gan’s re­quest, coun­cil tabled the vote on the sec­ond va­cancy un­til its meet­ing in July to al­low time for Hyl­ton and Everett to be in­ter­viewed.

There were two ap­pli­cants for a va­cant seat on the plan­ning com­mis­sion — Hyl­ton and An­drew Monas­tra.

Proc­sal said he knew the plan­ning com­mis­sion mem­bers, and sev­eral mem­bers of coun­cil, were lean­ing to­ward Monas­tra for the ap­point­ment. But he noted that Monas­tra is al­ready serv­ing on the Land Bank Board and the His­toric Ar­chi­tec­ture Re­view Board.

He also noted that Hyl­ton came to the June 11

meet­ing to speak, re­mind­ing coun­cil that he had pre­vi­ously served for 12 years, many as chair­man, and that he and So­lic­i­tor Charles D. Gar­ner Jr. had penned the bor­ough’s zoning or­di­nance which “fa­vors tra­di­tional towns.”

Only Coun­cil­woman Rita Paez ended up vot­ing against Hyl­ton’s ap­point­ment. But the choice may have been moot.

Af­ter bor­ough coun­cil went into an ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion, Deb Pen­rod, the plan­ning com­mis­sion chair­per­son, said she had that night sub­mit­ted her res­ig­na­tion.

Pen­rod, who is on the Land Bank board as well as the Pottstown Re­gional Pub­lic Li­brary Board of Trustees, said she has too many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and does not know as much about plan­ning as Hyl­ton. She sug­gested Monas­tra would work well with Hyl­ton.

And when coun­cil came out of that ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion it laid the ground­work for one more ap­point­ment.

Coun­cil voted to change the pro­vi­sion of the bor­ough man­ager’s or­di­nance that re­quires the man­ager to live in the bor­ough, leav­ing the mat­ter “the dis­cre­tion of coun­cil,” as Gar­ner de­scribed it.

Coun­cil also voted to ex­tend In­terim Bor­ough Man­ager Justin Keller’s con­tract, which ex­pires at the end of the month, by an­other 30 days.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Trenita Lind­say is the new Pottstown Bor­ough Coun­cil mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing the Fourth Ward.

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