Oxford Mayor and Police Chief release statement regarding death of George Floyd
By Steven Hoffman
At the June 1 Oxford Borough Council meeting, Mayor Phil Harris and Police Chief Samuel Iacono released a joint statement regarding the death of George Floyd.
“As we bore witness to the abhorrent events related to the arrest and subsequent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, we want to express our support to Mr. Floyd’s family, loved ones and friends. We acknowledge the pain, cruelty and inhumanity displayed by the officers involved in this incident and condemn those actions in the strongest of terms. We recognize the pain and sadness this incident has inflicted and understand that this serves as another example of bias and systemic inequities that exist within our great society. The Minneapolis officers involved in this incident need to be held accountable for their actions or inactions in this incident.”
Harris continued, saying, “here in the Oxford Police Department, we are continuing our promise, as sworn in our Oath and codified within our Mission Statement.”
The entire statement can be viewed on the Oxford Borough website and Facebook page and on the police department’s Facebook page as well.
This council meeting took place via Zoom as the borough continued to comply with statewide restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Entering into that yellow phase is bringing some semblance of normalcy back to life in the borough.
Council listened as John McGlothlin, the owner of the Saw Mill Grill and Octoraro Hotel, sought permission from the borough to set up 15 tables outside the Octoraro in the Octoraro Alley. McGlothlin said that he would be following all the guidelines regarding social distancing. The tables would seat six people each, and the tables would be kept six feet apart when in use for a five-hour period on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Council approved a Special Events Permit to allow for the outdoor dining, and also agreed to waive the fee during this time. The outdoor dining will be permitted on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Borough Council also approved authorizing SSM engineers to release the bid for the Broad Street, Nottingham, Franklin and Garfield repaving, curb and sidewalk project for approximately $1.5 million.
Borough Council and the Sidewalk Committee worked diligently together deciding how to best approach the project and how the project would be funded. Council has been focused for years on providing safe sidewalks in the borough, particularly for areas where students walk to schools so that they can do so safely.
Engineer Mark Stabolepszy confirmed that the bid can go out within a week, and bidders would have three weeks to review a project of this size.
“I think it will be four weeks before we have a bid in hand. Once the bid is awarded, construction could start in two months,” Stabolepszy said.
Funding for the project will come from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Multimodal Transportation Fund and liquid fuels funds that the borough receives. The remainder will come from the water department.
La Comunidad Hispana (LCH) was also on the agenda. LCH is a nonprofit, federally qualified health center that believes in quality, integrated, person-centered care that supports whole-health change for all. Founded in 1973, LCH has been changing lives for over forty years, featuring a diverse, dynamic care team that is dedicated to helping adults, teens, and children to be healthy and stay healthy.
Council approved a conditional-use hearing to operate a medical clinic in the former Oxford Area Sewer Authority building. The hearing is scheduled for Monday June 22 at 7 p.m.
In other business, council passed a resolution supporting the Chester Water Authority in
their ongoing battle against Aqua Water.
The borough’s public works department had a very busy month. They have been able to get a host of projects completed, including the hydrant flushing for 14 days with no complaints.
Council president Peggy Russell thanked everyone for their support. She also informed the public that council member Mary Higgins was in this month’s edition of the Borough News. She also applauded borough solicitor Stacey Fuller for being recognized, along with Rob Jefferson, as a leader in her field by Super Lawyers and Rising Star. No more than five percent of the lawyers in each state are selected to receive the honor.
Mason Clark, a junior council member, thanked the mayor and police chief for their statement at the beginning of council meeting saying, “We are thankful and reassured.”
Clark also explained that the last food drop-off for students for this school year will be held Wednesday at the high school.
Harris noted that since children had not been able to attend school, hotspots (wi-fi connections) were provided to them so they could complete their assignments. They will be turned off until the beginning of the new school year.
Harris reminded council that the Oxford Chamber of Commerce will be doing “chalk the walk” in recognition of the graduation of Oxford High School seniors, this Thursday at 10 a.m. It is a community effort and everyone is invited to join.
Borough manager Brian Hoover reminded the public that the borough is in the process of installing new LED streetlights in town. He is hopeful everything will move smoothly through the completion of the project.