East Pete

When: East Petersburg Borough Council meeting, Jan. 2.

Reorganization: Mayor James Malone swore in council members John Herr and William Sharp for four-year terms.

Officers: Debra Miller, council president and John Schick, vice president were nominated and elected for four-year terms. Adam Gochnauer was sworn in as pro tempore for four years.

Appointed organizations: Henry & Beaver LLC was appointed as solicitor. Systems Design Engineering was appointed for general borough engineering, sewer enforcement, water engineering, property maintenance compliance and zoning officer. The zoning hearing board solicitor is Janice Longer of Appel, Yost & Zee LLP. Dave Schott fills a seat with the zoning hearing board. The borough auditor is currently unknown.

Emergency management coordinator: Violet DeStefano, public health specialist with Emergency Health Services Federation, spoke during public comment on how she is the ideal candidate for East Petersburg’s emergency management coordinator position.

Background: East Petersburg and East Hempfield Township previously shared an emergency services coordinator, but the two ended the agreement Jan. 1. When it became clear the agreement was ending, Borough Manager Karen St. Clair reached out to some organizations, including Lancaster EMS, who referred DeStefano.

Details: If appointed, DeStefano said she would take a multipronged approach to community preparedness, including providing resources online and at events, educating families with programs like Stop the Bleed and Stranger Danger and communicating with the borough. She said she would support local infrastructure like day care centers and schools to “protect children” and develop protocols to best “reunify with parents after an emergency.” Council was receptive to her experience and expertise, saying she would be “on the agenda again.”

More: St. Clair said in an email after the meeting the position is not currently being advertised and is “by word of mouth.” Candidates are asked to come to a borough council meeting to speak.

What’s next: St. Clair said that once council has publicly spoken with all candidates, it will make a decision. Council has not yet decided if the emergency management coordinator will be a paid position.

In the meantime: Council voted unanimously to recommend resident Josh Roberts to perform the functions of an emergency management coordinator for the borough on a temporary basis until a suitable candidate is permanently appointed.

Let it snow: If a snow emergency is declared, information will be posted on the borough’s website and WGAL.

Upcoming meetings: Council will hold its committee meetings the fourth Thursday of each month. The next is at 6 p.m. Jan. 25. Borough council meetings will be on the first Tuesday of each month, with the next at 7 p.m. Feb. 6.

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