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Monday, September 25, 2023

New Pottstown zoning board members have familiar faces

POTTSTOWN — There will be few changes in the membership of the borough’s zoning hearing board as the result of two 5-2 votes of borough council last week.

Long-time member Robert Johnson resigned as of Aug. 1.

Council voted 5-2 at the Sept. 11 board meeting to appointed Todd Thorne to fill the vacancy. Thorne had served as the alternate to the zoning board for several years.

Thorne’s appointment caused a vacancy and planning commission member Richard Bouher was appointed to fill the term. As a result of his appointment, Bouher will have to resign from the planning commission said Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr.

Both zoning board terms expire on Jan. 1, 2024, when the seats will again be open.

Both appointments passed by 5-2 votes with councilwomen Lisa Vanni and Trenita Lindsay voting no both times.

Vanni said if council truly wants to get some new blood onto boards and commissions, it should appoint people “who don’t already sit on other boards.”

Bouher, Luke Johnson and Deb Penrod had all applied for the open seat on the zoning board.

Council President Dan Weand defended the selection of Thorne.

“He’s the one with the most experience,” he said.

Councilman Andrew Monastra added, “he was the alternate. He knows the system.”

Also, Miles Feather was appointed to the Pottstown Environmental Advisory Council by unanimous vote. He was the only applicant.

Modern Conflicts

In other business, council also authorized the creation of a “Modern Conflicts Memorial Committee,” which will be comprised of veterans and individuals who have served during recent conflicts such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf War. They will oversee the design, fundraising, and installation of the a new memorial in Memorial Park on Veterans Island which will be dedicated to those who served and died during those “modern conflicts.”

Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lenhart will serve as the borough’s representative on that committee.

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