Up to date news on the happenings in Eddystone, PA. For such a small town, there's always BIG drama...inside and outside Borough Council Chambers.

Crickets chirping in Council Chambers-Paterson defies majority appointment; Thompson halts Treasurer’s pay

Maybe there is some change in the air.  In a rare showing of disagreement amongst Counselors, both Dave Paterson and Danielle Thompson cast dissenting opinions during actions at Monday’s Borough Council Meeting. 

Councilwoman Thompson dropped a bit of a bombshell on her colleagues last night, forcing the tabling of a vote regarding the pay for the Borough Treasurer.  No one at the table argued with Ms. Thompson, however quite a few jaws did drop.  As mentioned in last month’s post, Borough Manager Francie Howat was voted to be Council’s Treasurer.  By gaining this appointment, Mrs. Howat was due to receive more than 8k in salary, which would take her total compensation from the Borough to over 70k annually.  Councilwoman Thompson cited that she contacted local municipalities, compared our Treasurer compensation to theirs, and found that we were paying a significantly higher rate.  She wants Council to reevaluate the pay based on comparative figures of other municipalities. 

A Counselor doing research, or information gathering, or whatever it is called?  Wow, that is something new and very exciting!  Let’s see if Councilwoman Thompson will have the fortitude to stand up to the small minded, business-as-usual counterarguments some in this leadership group have exhibited in the past.  Let’s see if she can convince 3 other members of Council to act like Republicans and cut wasteful expenditures.  President John Pappas made it clear that if Council chooses to ignore Thompson’s dissenting opinion, then Mrs. Howat will receive retroactive pay for her services.

In other news, Councilman Robert Howat submitted a letter of resignation for health reasons and the remaining members of Council had to appoint someone to take his seat.  In predictable fashion, the ‘good ole’ boy network that is small town politics appointed Bill Stewart to fill the vacant seat.  Stewart, who did not make it through the primary election, gained the support of Karen Reeves because, as she said, “Bill ran with the party.”  Dave Paterson nominated Kelly Butkus for the open seat, which resulted in a silent response from his colleagues.

Question:  Does ‘running with the party?” qualify one to run a town? 

While I am sure most people, myself included, would not necessarily object to the appointment of Mr. Stewart, it is the process of how this happens that seems to be offensive.  When a small group of people gain a control in local politics, those not running again begin to resign prior to elections so that the majority in power can appoint their allies to Boards.  It happens all over in small town politics.   Howat would have had a hard time getting reelected in the Borough, so now the Republican Party can try to rerun Stewart, but this time they will add ‘incumbent with experience' to his resume in the hopes that voters will change their minds about him.

I wonder how long until Councilwoman Tatasicore tenders her letter of resignation?  She was absent again last night.

Finally, it should be noted that Kevin Begley was physically present.  He did not present any new ideas, nor did her really contribute anything of substance other than to thank other people for their work and accomplishments.

Positive Change Scoreboard:  Paterson gets a point for voicing dissention, Thompson gets 2, 1 for the presentation of a plaque to the family of Margaret Phillips for her service to the Town Watch and 1 for tabling a vote on paying the Treasurer too much.  Begley still seems to be asleep at the wheel, as he still has done nothing to move his campaign promise of increasing recreation forward.  Maybe next month…..


Congratulations go out to Paul Gliem, who was sworn in as a new part-time patrol officer for Eddystone PD.