Cloyd selected as new Oxford Borough Council president01/10/2022 01:26PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Mary Laura Buchner-Hulse and Amanda Woolston took the oath of office as new Oxford Borough Council members at the council’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 3. Two incumbents, Robert Ketcham and Amanda Birdwell, were also sworn in at the same meeting. All wore masks and were sworn in before a crowd of onlookers who were also masked. COVID-19 will continue to be one issue facing the new council members.
Buchner-Hulse said she enjoyed her first meeting and is anxious to ask questions and learn.
“I have been studying the budget line by line and want to make sure that going forward we have the funding for what we will need in the future,” she said. “I have every confidence in our borough staff. Our borough manager explains things very well and wants to make sure we are doing things as we should and have all bases covered.”
Woolston was excited about being on council and encouraged about having the voices of millennials heard.
“I am proud to represent the millennials on council,” Woolston said. “I think they have concerns and I want to make sure they are heard.”
Kathryn Cloyd was elected to serve as borough council president and Mary Higgins was selected to serve as vice president. Birdwell was chosen to be council’s President Pro Tem.
Cloyd plans to focus on educating both council members and residents about the issues facing council at the first meeting of each month.
“I want everyone to be clear on items we have to vote on and feel we should do that at the first meeting of the month, if needed,” Cloyd said. “That is important for residents and council members.”
Cloyd plans to discontinue many committee meetings, keeping only the Finance Committee and Personnel Committee meetings for now.
“I recognize we have people who have family obligations and I want to work with their schedules. I am excited we have brought some millennials into the council and look forward to their input,” Cloyd explained.
The Honorable Scott A. Massey, Judge for District Court 15-3-05, swore in the newly elected and incumbent council members and Mayor Phil Harris.
Council approved the agreement between the Borough of Oxford and Flyway Excavating, Inc. for the Streetscapes IV/Oxford transit center access improvements, pending the solicitor’s review and approval.
According to borough manager Pauline Garcia-Allen this project includes completing road improvements to Second Street and Octoraro Alley, plus new sidewalks and streetlights. A portion of Octoraro Alley, between Third Street and the parking garage, will be improved to limit vehicle access and improve pedestrian safety. Removable bollards and planters will be installed, allowing emergency vehicles entry, if needed.
That area will be repaved and new, improved lighting and streetscape enhancements will be installed, making it safer and more enticing for pedestrian use. New way-finding signage will also be installed in the surrounding area to denote the changes in vehicle and pedestrian circulation and access.
A number of grants are being utilized for this project. They include:
2017 PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), Multimodal Transportation Fund Program (MTF): $285,822
2017 PennDOT, Multimodal Transportation Fund Program (MTF): $143,836
2020 Chester County Community Revitalization Program (CRP): $650,000
The streetlights were purchased through a Keystone Communities in 2012.
In other business, council approved Resolution #1327-2022 for appointments of certain borough employees and consultants for six months and council approved the motion to advertise 2022 meetings. Council also approved the following:
Motion to reappoint Robert Glisson and C. Randy Teel to the Oxford Planning Commission for the 2022-2025 term
Motion to appoint Ron Hershey to the Oxford Planning Commission to fill an open position for the year of 2022
Motion to appoint Bethany Atkinson as Vacancy Board Chair for a one-year term
Motion to appoint Spence Andress to the Zoning Hearing Board for the 2022-2026 Term.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Birdwell told council, “I apologize for using the public comment portion for this conversation, but I expected a discussion before council voted for the officers. I feel the decision-making process happened behind the scenes on the vote and the public didn’t get to hear that discussion. I would hope, going forward, that we will limit discussions of borough business to public meetings so the public can hear those discussions.”
For a list of borough meetings, please check the website at: oxfordboro.org.