Committees Do Council’s Heavy Lifting

Swarthmore Borough Council
By Chris Reynolds

Swarthmore Borough Council’s committees meet at Borough Hall at regularly scheduled intervals throughout the year. These meetings are open to the public. The nominal committee meeting schedule is at swarthmorepa.org/2221/Borough-Council-Committees; specific upcoming dates are noted in this report where available. The council member who chairs each committee makes his or her report at council’s monthly work session, typically held on the first Monday of the month.

At the May 1 work session, General Government committee chair Ross Schmucki reported that Swarthmore Town Center president Dean Michelson has resigned, and will be replaced in the post by longtime Swarthmorean Sharon Mester. Schmucki also noted that in response to the Aging-in-Place Task Force report, Swarthmore is moving to develop a TimeBank, a community resource which coordinates the exchange of time and services among its members. Borough manager Jane Billings is managing the process, working in conjunction with staff of the Swarthmore Community Center and a soon-to-be-hired summer intern. (The intern will also be involved with projects for the Swarthmore Public Library and Swarthmore Recreation Association.) General Government next meets on Monday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.

Planning & Zoning chair Mary Walk reported that her committee has met with the Swarthmore Planning Commission, also apropos of the AIP Task Force report, which makes recommendations that involve land use and thus comes under the aegis of the two groups. Planning & Zoning will not meet this month.

David Creagan, chair of the Public Safety committee, reported on the proposed acquisition of a system that would give Swarthmore police instant access to a database of borough property and occupant information, which residents would voluntarily provide. Three requests went out for bids on the technology, installation and training needed for implementation. Only one response met the specifications, from a firm which provides similar services to Nether Providence and Springfield township police departments, and for the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association. Approval for the purchase will be sought at the upcoming council legislative session. Public Safety will meet Tuesday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Electrifying Possibility

Public Works chair David Murphy will seek Council’s approval at next week’s legislative session for the installation of an electric vehicle charging station at a metered spot in front of Borough Hall. A so far-anonymous citizen has pledged to pay the $2,500 cost of installation; an electronic payment system will charge users for the power they draw while “topping up” in the parking space. Murphy says the amenity signifies: “If you have an electric vehicle, come shop here.” Murphy also expects that bids will be awarded next week for street paving and sewer/storm sewer contracted services. The committee will not meet this month.

Mayor Tim Kearney looked forward to two rites of spring: the Swarthmore Rotary Fun Fair this Sunday, May 7, and the first Farmers Market of the season, on Saturday, May 13, at Swarthmore’s Central Park. The Farmer’s Market will immediately be followed on Saturday afternoon by the Makers Market at the same location.

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