Clarks Green Borough Council passes preliminary budget with no tax increase

By Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com
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CLARKS GREEN — The borough council unanimously approved its proposed 2018 budget, including no tax or sewer fee increases, at its regular meeting Nov. 15.

The tentative budget shows a total income of 1,057,943.65 with total expenses at $1,014,300, leaving a surplus of $43,643.65. It is now available for public review before going to the council for final adoption.

Councilman David Rinaldi noted the Abington Regional Wastewater Authority (ARWA) 2018 budget is also available for public review.

During public comment, former council member Marnie O’Dea Palmer addressed the board regarding political mailings which she said went out to borough residents before the Nov. 7 municipal general elections. In those elections, four candidates ran for three borough council seats: current members Alan Hughes, Bill Toms and Joe Barrasse, and Palmer, who fell short.

“I have a real problem with Mr. Barrasse and how he went after me and said untrue things about me and I just want to respond to the items that he had put on his postcard that he mailed all through the borough,” Palmer said, listing each item and denying its accuracy.

“I really think I deserve an apology from you, Mr. Barrasse. I have never done the things that you said I’ve done.”

Barrasse did not respond.

Councilman David Rinaldi, however, gave a response regarding the issue of negative advertising in the borough in general.

“Miss Palmer, you put an ad in the paper,” he said. “That was before Mr. Barrase’s alleged material went out. I think that when you look at our borough — 1,465 people — everybody pretty much knows everybody. We do not need negative advertising. That negative advertising is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to get people to take positions in the borough, or even to get people, when there is a vacancy on council, to apply for it. It is really beneath our borough and the residents of this borough, to have that kind of advertising. …It’s going to dissuade people from serving, and it has to stop. …I’m trying to address negative advertising at all. There shouldn’t have been any.

“I don’t know why we have to get down to Washington or Harrisburg politics, when we’re a half a square mile in area.”

Hughes agreed with Rinali, giving similar examples from the past.

Also during public comment, Borough Tax Collector Mary O’Brien addressed the council regarding the process of appointing a deputy tax collector. Council President Keith Williams said the matter will be on the agenda for the December meeting.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20 at the borough building on North Abington Road.

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Issue of negative campaign advertising discussed

By Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Council vacancy

Clarks Green Borough is accepting letters of interest from qualified borough residents for an appointment to council for a term ending January, 2020. Letters of interest should be submitted to council on or before Dec. 15.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal