East Penn Press

Saturday, January 20, 2018

EMMAUS BOROUGH COUNCIL

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 by CHRISTOPHER DRYFOOS Special to The Press in Local News

Policy could be created to rent borough hall

At the Jan. 3 Emmaus Borough Council meeting, there was a notable discussion centered around the proposed renting of borough hall. A local political club sought to rent the hall for a $50 fee.

Council Member Chris DeFrain was quick to point out that, if the council were to approve the rental without any guidelines, it would set a precedent that would force the borough to rent the hall to essentially any group wanting to use it for whatever reason.

Borough Solicitor John W. Ashley noted by implementing a policy, the council could specifically outline who, how and when borough hall could be rented.

“We should take it [the proposal] back to committee and have [the guidelines for borough hall’s use] fleshed out,” Borough Council Vice President Wesley Barrett said.

The discussion was tabled until such a policy was implemented.

The council also heard an appeal from citizen John Donches, who aired several requests relating to transparency, including releasing memorandums of the meeting minutes onto the borough’s website as well as video recording the meetings for public viewing.

Borough Manager Shane Pepe said the memorandums had previously been available, but due to a glitch in the system the committee members can no longer upload them. The problem will be investigated.

The council did not express interest in recording video or audio recordings of its meetings.

In other news, a number of reappointments and hires were made by the borough, including the hiring of two interns with the intent of using their GIS mapping skills to benefit Emmaus. Pepe reiterated the success of the internship in previous years and expressed his enthusiasm for the project.