Columbia Borough installs councillors at organizational meeting; elects 2012 officers

At last night’s borough council organizational meeting, the primary purpose was to organize the council in accordance with the Borough code and state law. At this meeting, Mayor Leo Lutz tapped the gavel to bring the meeting to order at 7:00 pm in the Borough Hall council chambers. Six citizens; the mayor; the borough solicitor, Robert L. Pfannebecker; borough manager Norman B. Meiskey III; borough assistant secretary treasurer, Georgianna Schreck and two borough employees  witnessed the proceedings according to the agenda (below).

The Order of business at organizational meeting section of the code stipulated the “order to be observed in taking up business at the meeting for the organization of the council, after new members and officials have taken and subscribed the proper oath …”

Magisterial District Judge Robert A. Herman, Jr. administered the oath of office to Barry Ford, the newly elected councillor, and re-elected councillors Renae Sears, Mary Barninger, Kelly Murphy and Jim Smith.

(shown above: top photo,  (left to right), Magistrate Herman, Jim Smith, Renae Sears, Kelly Murphy and Barry Ford. From a different angle in the bottom left photo are Jim Smith, Renae Sears, Kelly Murphy and Mary Barninger. Leo Lutz, mayor, is in the background. Mayor Lutz and Borough solicitor, Robert L. Pfannebecker witness the proceedings in the photo at bottom right)

Following the swearing in of the recently elected council members, the election of a council president was conducted and Michael Beury was elected president.

2012 Borough Council president, Michael Beury (SOURCE: Columbia Borough Website file photo)

The mayor turned the leadership of the meeting over to Council president Beury with the passing of the gavel. Councillor Beury conducted the balance of the meeting according to the agenda.

Other actions in the meeting included:

  • Mary Wickenheiser was elected vice-president of the council.
  • Mary Barninger was elected president pro-tem of the council
  • Robert L. Pfannebecker was re-appointed as the borough solicitor for 2012 at the rate of $100 an hour.
  • C.S. Davidson, Inc. was re-appointed as the engineer to the borough for 2012 at the rate of $105 per hour.
  • Norman B. Meiskey III was re-appointed as the borough secretary/treasurer for 2012.
  • Georgianna Schreck was reappointed as the borough assistant secretary/treasurer for 2012.
  • The new Council voted to begin a revised meeting format for 2012. In an effort to save time, money and provide a consolidated forum for discussion of borough matters, the Council approved (on a trial basis) the plan to dismiss separate Council committee meetings in favor of a second full Council meeting (a meeting of the whole – “The whole membership of a legislative body sitting as a committee to consider the details of a proposal.”) each month. The meeting dates will be advertised in the publication of general distribution; tentatively, the meeting dates were set as the second and fourth Mondays of each month with the possible exceptions of November and December due to holiday schedules.

There were a few inquiries from some councilors and citizens about the citizen impact of a second meeting of the whole; Councillors Barninger and Smith wanted to be sure that the decision is “right for the citizens of the community.” Council President Beury assuaged these concerns by asserting that the “meeting of the whole” concept will be tested for acceptance and viability.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:59 pm.

One comment

  1. Where is the dress code for our council members. Some appear to be getting ready to play golf instead of professional representation. New president Buery perhaps an order of business would be to establish a dress code.

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