Pine Hill Councilwoman Resigns; New Post Created

Posted: December 21, 1995

PINE HILL — Getting a jump on the new year, borough officials started an administrative house-cleaning this week - they accepted the resignation of a council member, created an administrator position, and dissolved the zoning board.

Councilwoman Darlene Silvestro submitted a letter of resignation, effective Dec. 31, at Monday's council meeting. Silvestro, a Democrat, was in her second year as a council member on the all-Democratic council. She said she was leaving because of time conflicts.

The County Democratic Committee has 30 days to present three choices for Silvestro's successor. The selections must be Democrats, according to John Kearney, borough solicitor.

Since Silvestro informally told the council about her decision a few weeks ago, the process to find a successor has already begun, and the choice may be announced at the borough's Jan. 1 reorganization.

Also at the reorganization meeting, council is expected to announce its choice for the new borough administrator.

"The thought is that an administrator provides the most efficient method of management in government," Kearney said. "(The borough) would be able to use the administrator to handle a lot of day-to-day problems that professional managers can handle," taking some of the workload off of the borough clerk.

An administrator could deal with personnel issues or other problems that arise, as well as coordinating information from department heads, Kearney said. "The administrator is the person who can be a focal point for all of these issues. He will be the source of information for members of the council."

Some officials have mentioned that the borough's chief financial officer, George McDermott, would be a good candidate.

Also at the Monday council meeting, an ordinance was adopted to consolidate the Zoning Board with the Planning Board. The Planning Board will assume the powers of the Zoning Board and receive all of its applications. Some of the Planning Board members, who are volunteers, may join the Zoning Panel.

The borough decided to take advantage of state legislation that was passed in March that allows communities of 10,000 or less to consolidate the two boards, Kearney said.

"The workloads of the two boards indicated that it made a lot more sense to have one board," he said.

The Borough Council may also be getting a new home soon. At the meeting, council passed a resolution authorizing preparation of bid specifications for the building.

The total budget for the new building, which will be near the current borough hall and police station, is about $1 million. It will be funded by a bond issue.

"It was a matter of whether or not we were going to put a lot of money into the old building to renovate it and to get it up-to-date to a modern facility. We would be spending as much for a new building," Kearney said.

Council has not yet decided what it will do with the old building when the new one opens.

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