YARDLEY BOROUGH >> The Yardley Borough Council reorganized on Jan. 6, welcoming two new council members and electing new leadership for the coming year.

Prior to the meeting, the Honorable Gary Gilman administered the oath of office to incoming council members John McCann and Kim Segal-Morris. Both won election to council in November, replacing Bryan Marshall, who lost his re-election bid, and Mike Ruttle, who did not run for re-election.

Following the swearing in, Mayor Chris Harding gaveled the first meeting of the year to order, presiding over the election of a new council president for the coming year.

In a unanimous vote, council named David Bria president for 2020. Bria subsequently accepted the gavel of leadership from Harding and took his seat at the head of the table.

“I’d like to thank my colleagues on council for the vote of confidence,” responded Bria.

His first order of business was to take nominations for council vice president.

Caroline Thompson was nominated and subsequently appointed, in a unanimous vote, to serve as vice president of council.

“I’d like to welcome Kim and John to the board and to thank my peers for voting me in as vice president. I’m looking forward to a fresh start this year and a lot of progress being made,” said Thompson.

Chief on council's "to do" list in 2020 will be the replacement of the Mary Yardley Footbridge connecting Rivermawr to North Main Street; pursuing the next phase of the North Main Street sidewalk project; and filling a vacancy on the borough council. 

Among the council’s first actions of the year was to approve a two year contract extension with borough manager Paula Johnson.

Based on a performance review, her base salary will increase three percent. Her personal time off will be reduced by two days, but two additional holidays - Christmas Eve and New Years Eve - are being added to the schedule.

The contract also gives the manager up to five days of paid leave for conference and training each calendar year as approved by her supervisor.

“I think she did a great job when the former manager left and there was a gap. I support this,” said Councilman Berry.

In other professional appointments, council unanimously named Bucky Clouser from Curtin & Heffner as borough solicitor and in a 5-1 vote with Ryan Berry voting against reappointed Remington-Vernick as borough engineer.

Under the borough manager’s report, Johnson announced that Christmas trees will be collected by Republic, the borough’s new trash hauler, on Saturday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 1.

In other action, Bria reaffirmed the ad hoc Reading Avenue Committee and again asked Councilman Ryan Berry to lead the committee as it plans ways to beautify and enhance the borough-owned wooded tract of land located just to the west of the SEPTA station.

The council also made the following reappointments to its boards and commissions: Kimberly Sharp to the zoning hearing board; Chuck Dolan, Bob Bushar and Matt Sinberg to the planning commission; Vladimir Panov to the HARB; Dave Collins to the sewer authority; Carol Such to Parks and Recreation; and Leanne Poffenberger to the shade tree commission.

Council also voted to appoint Brian Welsh to the council’s vacancy board for a one year term; Richard Hodge to the planning commission; and Michael Hayduk to the zoning hearing board.

Earlier in the meeting, Thompson recognized a handful of volunteers who completed their service to Yardley Borough in 2019. She presented each with a certificate of recognition.

Recognized by Thompson were David Leach, who served from 2008 to 2019 on the Parks and Recreation board where he helped start the Yardley 5K; Cheryl Neas, who served from 2003 to 2l019 on the planning commission; and Jane Celentano, who served on HARB from 2015 to 2019.

The borough still has vacancies on its parks and recreation board; Historical Architectural Review Board and Human Relations Commission. To apply, send letters of interest along with a resume to Borough Manager Paula Johnson, 56 South Main Street, Yardley 19067.

The borough also is seeking to fill an open seat on council created by the decision of councilman-elect Patrick McGovern not to accept his seat on council following a political dust-up in November over a social media page.

To apply for the opening, send letters of interest along with a resume to Borough Manager Paula Johnson, 56 South Main Street, Yardley 19067. An application is available online at YardleyBoro.com.

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