Kimmel is sworn in as member of East Marlborough Supervisors
01/05/2016 09:26AM ● Published by J. Chambless
Christine Kimmel is sworn in by Richard Hannum at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 4.
By John Chambless
The East Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors reorganized at their meeting on Jan. 4, with a notable addition: The first woman to serve as a supervisor in township history.
Christine Kimmel was sworn in at the opening of the meeting and took her place at the table as the agenda focused on approving board and commission members for the upcoming year. Richard Hannum was nominated as the board's new chairman by member John Sarro, and the nomination was unanimously approved. Sarro was unanimously elected as vice-chairman. Jane Laslo was reappointed as township manager, secretary and treasurer.
The issue of appointing an assistant township manager, however, sparked some debate. For the past two years, Laurie Prysock has been working with Laslo, and the creation of a formal title for her position was discussed at the December supervisors meeting. Laslo hinted at her retirement for the first time in a public meeting, saying, “There's no fixed date for my retirement, and it would be at the board's discretion whether we keep the assistant manager position.”
Board member Bob Weer objected to creating the job, saying, “We owe it to the residents to be more transparent. We need to prepare a job description and advertise it, at least a few months in advance.”
Hannum told Weer, “I think your ideas are entirely appropriate, but for tonight, the question is whether Laurie is to be named assistant manager. We can discuss the issue moving forward.”
“The issue has been, when Jane's out, who's in charge?” Sarro said, pointing out that there is an assistant road manager position to handle similar circumstances.
Township solicitor Frone Crawford said, “Jane has been taking some time off, which is her right, and there are some health issues.” He didn't elaborate, but told the board that, “You're creating an office that doesn't relate to her retirement.”
After some further discussion, board member Eddie Caudill formally nominated Prysock for the assistant township manager position, and the board approved the motion, with Weer voting against it.
Hannum summed up by saying, “I agree that we need to create a job description, sooner rather than later.”
The board then approved a long list of township officers, keeping the lineup largely intact from last year. For the Planning Commission, the board unanimously approved Cuyler Walker, the former board president, to take the position vacated on the commission by Kimmel.
Walker, who was in the audience at the meeting, said on the day after the meeting, "Although I could not continue to devote the time required of a township supervisor, serving in a more limited role on the Planning Commission is appealing because zoning and land use issues have always been a priority, particularly as they relate to preserving the township's open space and natural resources."
The board also voted to approve the members of the Historic Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, Historic and Architectural Review Board, and the Building Code Appeals Board.
In other business, the supervisors approved an escrow release for the builders of the Walnut Walk development in the amount of $240,204.02; and an escrow release of $127,000 to Willowdale Chapel, for funds left over from the church's 2009-10 building project.
The board also had a lengthy discussion of the annual Kennett Run, but could not approve the permit application for the event because the course route was unclear in the materials submitted to them. Laslo pointed out that the event uses Kennett Square Police for the event, “but about 75 to 80 percent of the run is in East Marlborough, and Kennett Square Police don't have jurisdiction in East Marlborough.” She told the representative of the Kennett Run, “I suggest you meet with [police chief] Robert Clarke to discuss coverage in the township.”
Hannum added, “The map is a little unclear. My suggestion is to help us by being clearer on the route and the road closures, and give some estimates of the times that roads will be closed. It's a great event for the community and we intend to support it, but without knowing what's happening, it's hard for us to approve.”
The board will discuss approval of the Kennett Run at their February meeting.
For more information, visit www.eastmarlborough.org.
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