By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - At Monday's regular meeting, borough council accepted the resignation of one of its members, and an appointee who had yet to take their position on council.
Council accepted the resignation of John Szczyglak, who was appointed to fill the vacant seat left following Marlana Buhl's resignation, and of Councilman John M. Thomas, who was appointed in May to fill the late Donald Segal's seat, whose term ends this year.
According to Council President Leo Pietkiewicz, Szczyglak noted he would be unable to accept a position on council due to his position with Schuylkill County Adult Probation.
Thomas, of Turkey Run, resigned, but was re-appointed to council in their very next action.
"Mr. Thomas is going to resign at the request of Mrs. Buhl to fill the rest of her term," Pietkiewicz said prior to the vote during the public comment portion
Prior to the vote, in the meeting's public portion pertaining to agenda items, Councilman-Elect Gordon Slater raised concerns regarding the necessity of moving Thomas from Segal's to Buhl's seat.
"Based on the minutes from that special meeting (on Dec. 11), you sat right there, when I asked to have it tabled until we (incoming council members) took over, you sat right there and said the reason you wanted to fill that was so you could have a quorum," Slater said. "So, if (Thomas) resigns his seat tonight, and you put him in Buhl's seat, what difference is it making on the board?"
"Because, like I said, due to my work schedule. It could change at any time" Pietkiewicz said.
"Okay, but he's still on the board now," Slater said.
"Yes," Pietkiewicz answered.
"So, the only thing you're doing is putting him in a seat for two years. As of January, he's out," Slater added.
"To have a quorum--"
"But, in January, when we get sworn in, we'll still have a quorum," Slater said.
"I can't do anything, then, until next year, if he resigns," Pietkiewicz explained.
"But if you put him in now, you'll still have the same board members," Slater said.
"I still have to have a quorum," Pietkiewicz said.
"Right, but if he stays in the same seat that he's in now, you still have the same amount of board members," Slater said.
"It's a quorum," Pietkiewicz said.
"Right, one, two, three, four, five," Slater said, counting council members present. "Okay, so you've got five. So if you table and put someone in Buhl's place, you still have one, two, three, four, five."
"I can't guarantee everyone's going to show up at the meetings," Pietkiewicz said.
"So, you put him in the seat, you guarantee he can come in? It's the same amount. It looks like it's your own agenda being done here," Slater said as Pietkiewicz struck the gavel.
"It's on the agenda, and that's how it's going to be handled," Pietkiewicz said.
"Right, so you're going to do your own agenda," Slater said. "You're worried about your own agenda, and not worried about the town."
In other business, council read a letter from the Commonwealth Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, notifying them of their $80,000 grant for Girard Park improvements.
Also approved was a $60,000 Tax Anticipation Note through First National Bank's Shenandoah Branch, which Pietkiewicz noted was in anticipation of receipt of tax revenue for the first quarter of 2017.
Council also accepted the recommendation of the Shenandoah Civil Service Commission to amend the regulations the borough uses to test potential police officers, namely in how the tests are graded. Previously, tests were weighed 70% from a written portion and 30% for a verbal portion. Recommendation was a 60% written to 40% verbal grading scale.
Council also approved a request from Downtown Shenandoah Inc. for no parking zones during the second annual Kielbasi/Pierogie Drop.
During the second public portion, a Turkey Run resident requested an update on a potential project to repave the entrance to the village, which was tabled during the summer due to the project's partial location within Mahanoy Township.
"I have left phone calls (with Mahanoy Township), and have not gotten a return. They did leave a note here for me to call them back, I will be in touch with them," Pietkiewicz said.