Oxford Borough officials making a difference
● By ACL
Based on the discussion at the Oxford Borough Council meeting on Monday night, it appears likely that the Oxford Memorial Park will soon have some playground equipment that children with special needs will be able to use.
The idea to install the playground equipment originated with Paul Matthews, who joined the council at the start of 2014. Matthews thought it was important for youngsters with special needs to have a place to play alongside their siblings and friends, and set out to garner the support necessary to make the idea a reality.
At the same meeting, council member John Thompson talked about forming a committee to organize and plan the annual Memorial Day Parade. Randy Teel, another council member, quickly agreed to serve on the committee. Teel also talked about the possibility of starting a parade to celebrate the Fourth of July.
These are examples of elected officials going above and beyond to serve the community. Council members volunteer their time and energy and there are times when it can be a thankless job, especially in the third hour of a council meeting or during an endless committee meeting. But local government is important, and good local government can be invaluable to residents.
Oxford is benefitting from a more active council where members are bringing new ideas to the table.
After Matthews, Randy Grace, and Gary Tozzo joined Oxford Borough Council in January, council started having more thorough and more frequent discussions about budgetary matters. The new council members championed having the borough establish a Facebook page and debated how meetings are recorded.
Though not a volunteer, borough manager Betsy Brantner has helped the borough secure millions of dollars in grant money for streetscape improvements throughout the town. She is currently working on enhancing the veterans' memorial in the Oxford Memorial Park.
Taken individually, none of developments can be expected to have a huge impact on the quality of life for borough residents. But all these things are important in their own way, and taken collectively they add up to a borough council and administration that is more active. The residents of Oxford certainly benefit as a result.