Walker remains as chairman of East Marlborough supervisors

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Amendment to cluster zoning section of zoning ordinance adopted, 5-0 vote 

By Karen Cresta, Correspondent, The Times

EMLogoEAST MARLBOROUGH – A new year doesn’t look to bring much in the way of change to township government.

The first order of business on Monday night at the township Board of Supervisors’ meeting, prior to the public hearing to adopt an amendment to the cluster zoning ordinance, was the reorganization vote.

Robert Weer nominated Cuyler Walker as chairman for 2015 and it was unanimously approved.

Weer thanked all the supervisors for their continued service and told Walker, “We don’t agree on everything but we agree to disagree.”

Richard “Buzz” Hannum will remain as Vice Chair and the remaining supervisors, Bob Weer, Eddie Caudill and John Sarro – all were unanimously approved for a seat on the board for another year.

There are 20-plus positons that the board needs to reorganize annually.  One position that raised controversy was township police Lieutenant Robert Clark’s nomination for Fire Marshal.

Clark serves as the Emergency Management Coordinator for the township along with his regular duties as Lieutenant on the township police force.  He also provides services for special events such as at Longwood Gardens.  He recently obtained additional certifications required for a Fire Marshal. Robert Weer, Jr. resigned from the position in March 2014.

The elder Weer voiced concerns that he “wears too many hats” and his visibility in the township would suffer.

“I must voice these concerns with the best interest of the township in mind,” Weer added.

Weer was also concerned that this additional position for Clark would increase his income from the township substantially and raise a red flag in Harrisburg.

Jane Laslo, Township Manager, assured Weer that the position was on an as-needed basis and Clark would not be paid any additional income for the position.

The vote, 2-3, opposed (Walker, Hannum and Weer) Clark’s nomination and for United Inspection Services, 3-2 (Eddie Caudill and John Sarro opposed), to provide fire marshal services on an as-needed basis for the new year.

Prior to the formal meeting being called to order, a public hearing was held to adopt Ordinance 2015-01 to amend the cluster zoning section of the zoning ordinance.  The amendment would add an “Option B” and be perceived as a benefit to the township according to the supervisors.

The amendments would provide public water and sewer for eligible lot averaging and cluster development.  A density bonus would be granted for subdivisions if additional common open space areas were set aside.  If the number of cluster homes increased, so would the amount of open space, inclusive of wetlands.

“It’s a good trade-off as far as the township is concerned,” said Frone Crawford, township solicitor.

The ordinance was adopted by a 5-0 vote once the public meeting was called to order.

In other township news, Bill Hewton, a member of the Board of Directors at the Kennett Area Senior Center, a non-profit organization, submitted a request for a monetary contribution from the township in the amount of $3,000.

According to Hewton, 147 residents of the township receive services provided by the center.  He proposed a $20 contribution for each of the 147 members.

The goal of the center is to continue to enrich senior citizens who use the center for the numerous programs available including health screening, tax preparation, and services to house-bound seniors, to name a few.

The center wants to improve its financial status and reached out to all seven municipalities that represent its population.  Most of the income received comes from government agencies and grants and some from small businesses and municipalities but the center has been operating at a loss in recent years.

Other municipalities (four out of the seven) have agreed to contribute based on their number of residents who use the center.  Two rejected the request and one is currently under advisement.

“We only hear very favorable things about the senior center,” Walker said.

Board members said they will take the request for the contribution under advisement and contact Hewton with the outcome.

The Kennett Area Senior Center is located at 427 South Walnut Street in Kennett Square. More information on how to support the center and its services can be found at www.kennettseniorcenter.org.

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