May 16th - Lansdowne - Borough of Lansdowne

Lansdowne Borough Council
General Meeting
May 16, 2012
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday,
May 16, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs.
English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Radich, Mrs. Saylor, Mr. Schleigh and Mr. Wagner. Also
in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry,
Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief
Young was absent.
Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with the addition of one presentation.
Approval of Minutes: Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the April 18,
2012 General Meeting of Council. Mr. Schleigh seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Announcements and Presentations: Mayor Young swore in the two newly appointed
part time police officers, Max and Steve.
Larry Smalley of American Legion Post 65 spoke briefly about the upcoming
Memorial Day festivities, the theme of which will be “Lansdowne Remembers”. Mr.
Smalley then introduced the three winners of the Post’s annual public safety essay
Mayor Young mentioned that Sgt. McCaughan will be recognized at the next
televised meeting as “Officer of the Year”.
Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Bartley presented the April 30, 2012 Treasurer’s Report as
follows: General Fund-beginning balance $468,146-ending balance $3,772,899. Sewer
Fund-beginning balance $542,300-ending balance $1,347,439. Liquid Fuels Fundbeginning balance $389,227-ending balance $571,855. Capital Reserve Fund - $100,533ending balance $94,653. Non-uniform pension plan-beginning balance $1,618,384ending balance $1,774,511. Police Pension Fund-beginning balance $6,187,712-ending
balance $6,378,631. Mr. Bartley mentioned that there were sufficient funds on hand to
meet all current obligations.
Solicitor’s Report: Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Young reminded residents that they should clean up after their
dog when out walking. Mayor Young also mentioned that when residents keep their
lawns and landscaping well maintained the property values increase and the likelihood of
a crime being committed on the premises is decreased.
Lansdowne Borough Council
General Meeting
May 16, 2012
Mayor Young read several letters of commendation from Upper Darby Police
Chief Michael Chitwood and other non-uniformed individuals regarding the recent aid
that the Lansdowne Police Department provided in various crime investigations and
apprehensions. Officers McDermott, Eisenhardt, Eidell, McGuiness, Doyle, Kenzel, C.J.
Schiazza, McCaughan and Selimas were noted in the commendations letters.
Council President’s Report: President Coleman reported that juniors and seniors in the
William Penn School District who are interested in joining the Junior Council must have
their applications in by May 31st.
President Coleman recently attended the PA State Association of Boroughs
Conference. She mentioned that actor Richard Dreyfuss had been a keynote speaker
regarding the lack of civic education in the schools. The legislative section of the
conference dealt with recent updates regarding local government matters and President
Coleman provided Council members with the latest information in this regard. Also
discussed was what it means to have a good procedure policy manual in place. Other
informational handouts centered on cyber security and how to protect borough assets as
well as the assets of non-governmental entities. President Coleman mentioned that
during the discussion regarding borough codes, word was received that House Bill 1702
has passed in the Senate. This bill provides information about residency requirements,
towing fees, and fees involved with the exchange of borough property. Many of the
constraints formerly in place have been eliminated by this Bill. President Coleman stated
that three separate panel discussions were held regarding the Marcellus Shale drilling.
President Coleman stated that there was awareness that the PUC representatives have
been less than forthcoming in preparation for questions by local boroughs and have not
done a good job at educating the public on this issue. The recently enacted Act 13 deals
with impact fees. Land owners may get paid for the use of their land for drilling but the
Act does not really address the havoc that is wrought on towns when the drilling process
starts. To date, seven municipalities filed lawsuits on March 19th regarding the negative
environmental and social impact this drilling will cause.
Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that the Public Safety Committee
plans to discuss the use of the Highland Avenue parking lot for the farmers market, the
condemned house on Stewart Avenue, the need for a Health Board and towing contractor
issues. The signal service contracts will be discussed at the next Business Meeting of
Council. Mr. Schleigh reported that many qualified candidates had expressed interest in
the Human Relations Commission vacancies. Mr. Schleigh met with several residents
regarding forming a neighborhood watch program in the area of Essex and Maple
Avenues. The Public Safety Committee will also be looking at PECO’s treatment of
borough trees as concerns about proper pruning techniques have been raised.
Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the first quarter results for
the Police Pension Fund showed an increase of 8.6%. The portfolio began in January at
$6.2 million and ended the quarter at $6.6 million that included the $ 154,000 in
Lansdowne Borough Council
General Meeting
May 16, 2012
payments to retirees and advisory fees. As of May 4th, the portfolio was up 6.46%. The
actuarial assumption for the MMO is 7.2%.
The Finance & Administration Committee discussed financing options for the fire
house roof. Mr. Bartley has received rates information from local banks. Ms. Lustgarten
provided information to Borough Council members regarding a potential 5 year purchase
option and asked what capital purchases might be forthcoming in the next few years that
the General Fund cannot support. The F&A Committee also reviewed the dispute
resolution policy for the personnel manual and Ms. Lustgarten will bring
recommendations to the next business meeting. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that borough
staff has requested coverage from the Delaware Valley Health Insurance Trust that
provides up to $3500 per year for smoke cessation medications. Ms. Lustgarten moved
to increase the coverage through DVHIT (for non-uniform personnel) to include
smoking cessation pharmaceuticals up to $3500 per year. Mr. Schleigh seconded.
Vote: unanimous.
Mr. Totaro is investigating other quotes for commercial liability and workmen’s
compensation coverage.
Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that the annual $2000 contribution to the Senior
Friends Circle is already in the budget.
Economic Development and Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that the
ED&CE Committee met last night and spoke with John Harkins. Mr. Harkins owns the
building at the southwest corner of Union and Baltimore Avenues and has 7500 sq. ft. of
unused office space and 7500 sq. feet of open space in the warehouse. He felt that the
building could serve a community need and would like to collaborate with the borough
regarding ideas for its use. Mr. Wagner requested that Borough Council spread the word
and solicit ideas for the potential use of this building. It has been inspected by the Codes
Department. Mr. Wagner mentioned that there is no residency requirement for the
mandated architect position currently open on the Historical Architectural Review Board
(“HARB”). The Committee also met with a HARB contingent, who requested cost
considerations regarding the permit fees. Mr. Wagner mentioned that a grant has been
received for creating a walk shed in the downtown business district. Seven bids were
received and four groups were interviewed. Urban Engineers has been selected to do the
The next ED&CE Committee meeting will be held on June 19th.
Environment – Mrs. Saylor thanked everyone who participated in the Keep Lansdowne
Beautiful Day events. Mrs. Saylor also thanked individuals in the Elm Street Program for
providing volunteers to clean Interboro Park. Mrs. Saylor reminded residents to put out
yard waste the night before pickup and not to leave it out for several days.
The property at 129 Fairview Avenue adjacent to Interboro Park has come under
discussion regarding potential uses of the property. It is about 60’ x 125’. It has been
suggested that it could either be an entranceway for the park or made into a community
garden. Mrs. Saylor indicated the community garden idea might be the better choice due
to the consistency of the ground.
Lansdowne Borough Council
General Meeting
May 16, 2012
Community Relations: Mr. Radich reported that the Community Relations Committee
is looking into an Outreach program for constituents to address the cost of higher
education. On April 30th Mr. Radich and Ms. Lustgarten met with Mr. Jeffrey Hanson, a
higher education consultant, who agreed to be part of this initiative. Mr. Hanson
suggested bifurcating the presentations, one for secondary school students and then one
for primary school students to address 529 Plans. Regarding the primary school students,
Mr. Radich will be reaching out to the home school parent representatives to set up a
series of presentations on 529 Plans.
Mr. Radich stated that there were two good candidates being considered for the
Library Board vacancy. The next agenda item for the Committee will be to discuss
setting up the Committee on a social network such as Twitter or Facebook as means of
continuing their outreach efforts.
Infrastructure and Public Works – Mrs. English reported that the Infrastructure
Committee will not meet in May. The next meeting is scheduled for June 26th. There has
been some discussion about applying for a recycling grant to be used for either a street
leaf vacuum or a trash truck. Mrs. English reported that lighting has been installed at
Legion Terrace and Baltimore Avenue. Mr. Totaro mentioned that the Schappet Terrace
project is on hold until the ground settles.
Communications: No items for communications.
Mr. Schleigh moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Mr.
Wagner seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Visitor Comments:
Dale Nupp – 107 Eldon Avenue. Mr. Nupp mentioned that the Eldon Avenue entrance
to Marlyn Park is in serious need of maintenance and there is no signage indicating that it
is a park entrance. Mr. Nupp requested that the borough endeavor to clean up the site and
put funds for signage into next year’s budget. Mr. Totaro indicated that he will look into
the matter and that another work phase is scheduled for Marlyn Park, wherein the
entrance in question will be used by the machinery needed for the improvements to the
Mr. Nupp stated that Animal Friends of Lansdowne has 8 kittens that desperately
need foster care.
Mr. Schleigh moved to Resume Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote:
Old Business:
New Business: There were no items for new business.
Action Items:
1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Wagner
seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Lansdowne Borough Council
General Meeting
May 16, 2012
2. Mr. Schleigh moved to appoint Isaiah Campbell to the Human Relations
Commission (“HRC”) to fill remaining term of Joan Reivich expiring
9/30/2014. Mrs. English seconded. Vote: unanimous.
3. Mr. Schleigh moved to appoint Alayho Young to the HRC for a term ending
on 5/16/2015. Mrs. English seconded. Vote: unanimous.
4. Mr. Schleigh moved to appoint Pierre LaRocco to the HRC for a term ending
on 5/16/2015. Mrs. English seconded. Vote: unanimous.
5. Mr. Schleigh moved to appoint Pamela Fonville to the Civil Service
Commission to fill the remaining term of Helen Marcarelli ending 6/30/2014.
Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous.
6. Mr. Wagner moved to select Urban Engineers as the consultant to work with
the Borough to implement the TCDI project. Ms. Lustgarten seconded.
Vote: unanimous.
7. Mr. Wagner moved to appoint Roland Noreika to the HARB for a three year
term expiring 5/16/2015. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Executive Session – Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss
personnel and litigation issues. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous. The
meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:10 pm.
Public Session – No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.
Adjourn – Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. Vote:
unanimous. The meeting adjourned 9:45 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary