Tunkhannock Borough Council met Monday night for its biennial reorganization meeting with its top officers in 2020 the same as last month, with Bob Robinson continuing as president and Ben Barziloski as vice president.
Stacy Huber, who was elected as Tunkhannock mayor in November to a post he was appointed to last July, was sworn into a new term of office by Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff Monday morning.
That night he swore into office those persons elected to council in November: Ruth Vincenti, Dave Wiggins, Ron Coolbaugh and Barziloski.
Dan Gay, who did not actively seek reelection to council, while he was seeking to be a county commissioner last spring, was appointed by the rest of council to his former post, representing ward one for the next two years.
Huber also swore Gay into office.
Council President Bob Robinson announced a series of resignations that included borough police officer Robert L. Roberts, who had been elected Wyoming County Sheriff last November, and sworn into that office earlier in the day, and Carol and Bob Innamoratti and Peg Ball who had served on the Riverside Park Commission.
Robinson expressed his thanks for Roberts’ loyal service over the years, and a motion was made by Barziloski and seconded by Gay to accept his retirement. It was unanimously accepted by council.
A number of other appointments were made including Paul Litwin as solicitor; Timothy Michaels as Zoning Hearing Board solicitor; Michael DiStadio to serve on the Tunkhannock Borough Municipal Authority; Mark Monsey to serve on the Zoning Hearing Board; Lynnelle Farber, Sharon Applebee and Robyn Wiggins to serve on the Riverside Park Commission; Jenny Pitkus to serve on the Shade Tree Commission; and Robert Robinson to serve on the Civil Source Commission.
During the council’s transportation and streets committee, councilmen talked about a garbage truck with exhaust problems that have been getting steadily worse.
The vehicle went out of commission on Christmas Eve and more than $11,500 was paid for getting it repaired.
During the police discussion, Mayor Huber suggested that with Roberts’ retirement, perhaps Cpl. Dustin Cokely should be given consideration for promotion to acting sgt., the rank which Roberts held.
Wiggins who took over the chairmanship of the police committee after Marshall Davis’ departure, suggested that changes to the collective bargaining agreement be considered so council could begin the hiring process for another full-time officer now that Roberts is gone.
In his police report, Chief Keith Carpenter gave both a monthly report and an annual report. He did not speak directly to the pedestrian accident on Tioga Street the second night of ‘Christmas in Our Hometown’ last month, but did suggest that the police unit would be more strictly enforcing pedestrian crossing laws.
He noted that traffic arrests for the year were up, and more than twice as many criminal charges were filed in 2019 than in 2018.
During council privilege, Ruth Vincenti asked about an incident with a tractor-trailer rig on Warren Street and wondered outloud if there might be better or increased signage advising drivers of large rigs to be aware of road restrictions downtown.
Coolbaugh thanked Marshall Davis for his many years of service and also thanked those who voted for him in the November election. He said he was hopeful in the new year that more residents would come out to meetings. “Many hands make light work,” he said.