Council fills 4th Ward seat
Appointments also made for other vacancies
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-
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
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.
Trenita Lindsay is the new Pottstown Borough Council member representing the Fourth Ward.