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Good Government hinges on good communication.  In the best interest of full disclosure, I submit for public scrutiny the following open letter which has been sent to RP Borough Council.

Dear Borough Councilors:

The following was posed back in February.  Please review with Solicitor Angelos.

At the February Council Workshop President Berger Moved to affirm reappointments to all Borough Boards and Commissions. In the absence of the Solicitor, the Motion passed by a split vote.


Two weeks later at the February Council meeting, a request was made for legal opinion from the Solicitor with regard to the membership of the Shade Tree Commission.


The Solicitor agreed to look into it. President Berger agreed that the length of Terms for members of Boards and Commissions is defined by Ordinance. The Shade Tree Commission (STC) Ordinance allows for five (5) members on the STC. Reappointments are for a Term defined by Ordinance to be five (5) years in length. The five (5) Terms are staggered so that one (1) Term ends on December 31 of each year.


The Berger motion at the February Council Workshop included two (2) appointments/reappointments to the STC. Both Terms were said to be five (5) years in length. 


In support of the preceding consider the past three (3) appointments to the STC over the past three (3) years each of which is for a five (5) year Term.  The five (5) seats are occupied as follows:


1)  George Hutchins term expired December 31, 2013; he was not reappointed.  Krista Cesarine was appointed to his seat in January 2014. Her five (5) year Term is for the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.


2)  Dave Rowlyk (Borough Employee) was appointed to a five (5) year Term beginning in January 2015 for the five (5) years of 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.


 3)  Dan O'Mahoney (spouse of sitting Councilor) was reappointed in January 2016 to a five (5) year Term to include the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.


4)  Dan Dalessio (spouse of Councilor Liaison to the STC) is serving a five (5) year Term from January 2012, to December 31, 2016.


5)  The remaining fifth (5th) seat on the STC is held by Tim Devaney.  This five (5) year Term appointment runs from January 2013 to December 31, 2017 to conform with STC Ordinance and be consistent with STC memberships.


The simplest remedy to the present conflict would be either to follow the Ordinance and remove a Member for reason of misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance, or since the STC is a voluntary position, request the resignation of whichever Member has the shown the least interest or least participation in STC activities over the past two years.


Respectfully submitted,


Tim Devaney

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Comment by Jim McGowan on April 30, 2016 at 7:21pm
Thanks Tim. You're right, I thought your first post was current situation. Thanks for the clarification!
Comment by tim devabey on April 30, 2016 at 6:08pm

@Jim McGown,  What you have noticed is what SHOULD be the membership list.  What is stated WOULD be consistent with the RP Shade Tree Ordinance requirements.  That is not the present situation according to our Borough Manager.  What I need to spell out is that TWO members were sworn in to the STC this year and BOTH were given five year terms.  Dan O'Mahoney was reappointed to a five year term as his term ended on December 31, 2015.  A new member was also sworn in this year and given a five year term.  So those two terms will end on the same day.  That does not follow the Ordinance.  Furthermore, when I asked how two members could be sworn in as there was only one expired term as of December 31, 2015 (the five year term of Dan O'Mahoney) I was told that MY appointment had also ended on December 31, 2015.  If the present Council wants to abandon the Ordinance or not follow Legal protocol, it needs to be brought out of the shadows.  Thanks for asking for an explanation.  I would like to hear one from our elected Councilors and Solicitor.

Comment by Jim McGowan on April 30, 2016 at 12:46am

Hey Tim, I seem to be missing it. Looks like there are presently five members and the five-year terms are staggered over: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Where is the conflict? What am I not seeing here?

Thanks, Jim

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