YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Ryan Berry, who has served on borough council for the past 4 1/2 years, has announced his resignation effective August 4.
In a July 25 letter to Council, Berry said he’s resigning in order to devote his time to “other matters important to me and that need my time, energy and attention. I leave Council in capable hands, and I am looking forward to devotion to other matters that I care about,” he wrote.
After losing the 2019 municipal election, Berry resigned from council after serving four years and then applied for and was subsequently appointed to a two year seat on council in early December 2019.
Berry was one of four candidates who stepped forward to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Republican Sandi Brady in early November.
“I feel free of any obligation to the voters or the current governing body to remain on Council; and, therefore, I am free to break that commitment I made upon appointment by resignation,” he wrote in his letter. “I apologize to those who applied for the vacant Council seat in late 2019, and feel sorry if they would have been more competitive, at that time, had I not applied myself. I cannot undo that decision,” he wrote.
During his tenure on council, Berry successfully worked to prevent development of a parcel of borough-owned woodlands on Reading Avenue. He has subsequently led efforts to preserve the land and to seek out grant opportunities to carry out the goals of the Reading Avenue Committee.
“In 2016 that looked absolutely impossible to achieve, but we did the impossible,” he said of saving the property. “I will always view those woods as a victory,” he said.
Looking forward, Berry said the biggest challenge before council will be finding funding for several major borough projects, including the next phase of the North Main Street Sidewalk project and the Mary Yardley Footbridge replacement project.
“For many projects, we are very much reliant on the state to reward grants, and to some extent, we win some,” he said. “But projects languish years until they are funded, and raising taxes is realistically not in the cards. For instance, when I first got on Council two of my goals was the North Main sidewalk and the Mary Yardley bridge. The sidewalk may never be completed fully (though at least it was started) and the bridge may finally get done four years later. So, without state funding we need to be very patient.”
Berry closes his letter by thanking "those who worked with me. My experiences here will always be a part of me. They have shaped me and I hope I helped Yardley a little bit as well. Therefore, I motion to adjourn one last time from Council, and offer everyone the very best."
Borough council will have 30 days from the date of Berry’s resignation to fill the open council seat.