Senate Local Government Committee Addresses Municipal Disputes

TAMAQUA – A public hearing was held on Thursday, October 1 at the Lehigh Carbon Community College, to hear input from local officials on ways to correct the Pennsylvania Borough Code regarding disputes between Mayors and Borough Councils who enter into litigation, according to State Senator David G. Argall (R-29).

Representatives from the Pennsylvania State Mayors Association, Fraternal Order of Police, as well as Tamaqua officials testified before the Committee to address dispute resolution ideas, which will aid in formulating legislative proposals revising the Borough Code.

“We all know this has not been just a Tamaqua issue, but an issue that has affected many small towns throughout Pennsylvania and has cost these towns and taxpayers thousands of dollars over the years,” said Argall. “It was my hope that we could hold this hearing sooner rather than later, however, we all know the budget negotiations have made the Senate’s schedule very difficult to predict.”

On March 20, 2008 the Tamaqua Borough Police Department filed a charge of unfair labor practices with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board alleging that Tamaqua Borough violated the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act, of which the Borough, through action of the Mayor, were found in violation.

“I believe Mayors across Pennsylvania are excellent managers who appropriately direct their police departments,” said Micah Gursky, Tamaqua Borough Council President. “But when there is a Mayor on a rampage, it leaves the borough council feeling like the parents of a rogue teenager. I hope what Tamaqua has gone through can somehow be useful to lawmakers and other communities as you work to address these issues,” Gursky added.

Anyone wishing to submit written testimony can send their comments to: Senator John Eichelberger, Chairman, Senate Local Government Committee, Senate Box 203030, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

Contact: Nick Troutman
(717) 787-2637

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