Topton Borough Council cuts manager position, re-elects Council president

Patriot photo by Philip Baily Members of Topton Borough Council during the reorganization meeting on Jan. 6. Right, K. Ray Stauffer was re-elected as council president.

The Borough of Topton held their reorganization meeting Monday, Jan. 6. Mayor Thomas Biltcliff led council through the elections. Council voted to re-elect K. Ray Stauffer as council president and Michael S. Wagaman as council vice president.

The previous meeting Dec. 23, 2013, saw the layoff of Borough Manager Anthony Branco.

“We are required by the borough code to have a secretary, but we are not required by the borough to have a manager,” said Stauffer. “Borough council decided at a certain point in the past that they would like to go in a different direction and they felt that it would be a cost saving to tax payers of Topton Borough in relieving that expense.”

According to the Dec. 23 meeting minutes, solicitor Mike Carr said Branco did nothing wrong to warrant the layoff and that it is always possible for him to be rehired in the future. As for who will take over the functions previously performed by Branco, Stauffer said those responsibilities would be decided at a later date. For now, the office staff and borough council will handle the duties as needed.

Stauffer decided to postpone the recognition of council appointments of other officials until the next scheduled borough council meeting on Monday, Jan. 13. The council unanimously voted to meet regularly on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. for the rest of 2014.

The nine resolutions up for adoption were approved by the council: a fee schedule for permits and licenses was established; National Penn Bank and M&T Bank were selected as depositories of the borough funds; Reinsel Kuntz Lesher was appointed the borough auditor for 2014; Barry Isett & Associates, Inc. of Trexlertown was appointed the borough engineer; Joan London was appointed borough solicitor; a fee schedule for the borough property maintenance code was set; Bonnie Stauffer was appointed the borough treasurer; the procedures in how professional services are chosen for their pension plans in order to comply with Act 44 of 2009 was adopted; and Marcus Dolny was designated chief administrative officer.

“My title has not changed; at this time I am still the Financial Officer,” Dolny told The Patriot via email. “I was appointed chief administrative officer of our pension plan. A role I have previously held, nothing changes there. It’s just procedural that I be renamed it at reorganization.”

Council held an executive session that lasted about 30 minutes, followed by a brief adjournment.

The Zoning Hearing Board currently has one regular and one alternate position available for occupancy. Anyone interested in either position should give their name to the borough office for consideration by calling 610-682-2541.

The Kutztown Area Patriot seeks public comments about Topton Borough cutting the borough manager position. Please submit comments with first and last name, as well as town of residence, to lmitchell@berksmontnews.com.

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