Juarez-Lara, Jr. sworn in as new Oxford Borough Council member01/30/2023 02:34PM ● By Steven Hoffman
The proud family of Raul Juarez-Lara, Jr. looked on as he was sworn in as an Oxford Borough Council member by Mayor Phil Harris. It was a momentous occasion for all to watch as the first Latino was sworn in to the Oxford Borough Council. He is also, at the age of 20, the youngest council member in this borough council history. After he finished his first meeting, he said that he saw it as a great opportunity. borough council sees it as a great opportunity as well—a chance to have a more diverse government to represent the people of Oxford.
Latinos make up over 30 percent of the population of the borough, and the swearing-in of the first Latino does take one major accomplishment off the council’s to-do-list.
Borough manager Pauline Garcia-Allen said, “I am eager to work with him. He is excited about this opportunity. He loves Oxford, and wants to do something for the community.”
In other business, Police Chief Sam Iacono reported to council that the police department received training in CPR and First Aid, and will be certified for the next two years. He thanked Union Fire Co. and the Oxford Ambulance for their assistance in the process.
He explained that interviews for new police personnel have been scheduled for February. The department also has a department meeting where they will set goals for the coming year. The accreditation firm will be coming in and discussions will be held with the officers so they buy into the program.
Iacono also said that he is working on the year-end report for statistics. They will also start doing a yearly bias review report.
“This will be part of the accreditation process and is the first year we have done this. We are anxious to gain helpful information from this report,” Iacono said.
Council member Bill Fitzpatrick told the Chief that Officer Fry came to Penn’s Grove School to make his introduction to the students, and he was appreciative of the gesture.
Harris said the department will be heading into the third quarter for the accreditation process and they will be reviewing the evidence rooms and police issues.
In other business at the meeting, borough council approved the following motions:
- A hearing and motion to adopt an ordinance amending Chapter Section 27-2003, certificates of use and occupancy, and Section 27-202, definitions related to the establishment of a non-residential use of occupancy requirement.
- A motion to adopt resolution regarding an intergovernmental agreement between the Borough and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of the borough’s participation in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Chesapeake Bay sediment pollution reduction project.
- A motion to approve the contribution agreement in the amount of $9,192 with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, as part of Oxford’s participation in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Chesapeake Bay sediment pollution reduction project.
- A motion to approve Flyway Excavating pay application #9 (Final) in the amount of $15,000 for the Streetscapes IV/Transportation Center Access Improvements Project.
- A motion to award a contract to McMahon Associates, Inc. to develop an active transportation plan for the borough.
- A motion to approve the contract with McMahon Associates, Inc. in the amount of $45,800 to develop an active transportation plan conditioned upon review by and approval of the borough’s solicitor.
- A motion to award a contract to Keystone Municipal Solutions to complete a Strategic Management Plan for the borough contingent upon receipt of the Strategic Management Planning Program Award from the PA Department of Economic and Community Development.
Borough solicitor Stacey Fuller delivered her report to council saying, “Most of my work was behind the scenes.”
The Ware building project is pending appeal. There is some progress regarding a settlement with the neighbors.
The conditional-use hearing was held on Jan. 24 and there will be a second hearing.
Garcia-Allen told council that she will be delivering her state-of-the-borough report at the Feb. 13 council meeting. She also informed council that the borough would be receiving a Keep PA Beautiful Award from State Sen. Carolyn Comitta.
Junior council member Annabelle Bresler delivered her report saying midterms were finished and SAT’s would be coming up in March for high school students.
Council President Kathryn Cloyd said a representative from Kacie’s Cause will be coming to the Feb. 13 meeting to talk to council and give them a demonstration about the use of Narcan. An EMT will also be present.
Council member Peggy Russell congratulated Stacey Fuller in her new position at Gawthrop Greenwood.
The next borough council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.