Nazareth Borough Council gave recognition to multiple outgoing community leaders at their Feb. 5 meeting, honoring them for their service and dedication to the borough. Council passed resolutions to honor each community member, and each were presented a certificate by Mayor Lance Colondo.
Among those honored were former Nazareth Borough Planning Commission member Glenn Boerstler, retiring borough zoning officer Dennis Huth, and former downtown manager Stephanie Varone.
Jim Gordan, the former chairman of the borough’s municipal authority, and former zoning hearing board member Anthony Todora were also recognized, but neither were in attendance.
Colondo said that Boerstler “dutifully” and “faithfully” served the borough during his tenure.
“Glenn Boerstler has helped to provide solutions to the problems of housing and industrial growth which the planning commission faces on a routine basis,” Colondo said. “Mr. Boerstler’s input and vision for our borough has been invaluable and his sacrifices of time and effort make him worthy of the borough’s highest recognition, particularly given the decades of his service.”
Boerstler, who served on the borough’s planning commission for over 40 years, and Huth, who served as the borough’s zoning officer through 2017, thanked the borough for the honor and opportunities to serve.
Colondo recognized Varone for her services as downtown manager that have led to a revival of the borough’s downtown businesses. Throughout her tenure as downtown manager, Varone revived Nazareth’s farmers market, connected business owners with retail space and helped bring facade grant money to the borough.
Varone asked borough residents to continue to support the new businesses brought into town during her tenure to keep downtown revitalization moving forward.
“Please visit them. Please think of us first when you go to get a cup of coffee or go to get a beer now,” she said. “Help us keep it alive and growing because there’s so much more coming.”
In related business, council went on to vote 5-3 reauthorize the borough’s $20,000 contribution to the salary of the downtown manager position. Council previously voted to authorize the money to Varone as downtown manager, but had to reauthorize the money since Varone is leaving the position.
Councilman Carl Fischl was one of three who voted against the motion. Fischl said he didn’t think council should hurry to authorize the $20,000—money that was already budgeted for the position by the borough. He also said the Nazareth Economic Development Commission, the organization that employs the downtown manager, failed to provide council with quarterly reports relating to the position.
“We were promised that we’d get a quarterly report of all the hours and everything that was done. Since the initiation of this program we never have gotten them,” he said. “I really have concerns for us putting 20 grand out there and not knowing what we’re getting. So that’s why I think everything should be established—it’s a quick review, you probably could have it all finished by the end of March.”
In total, the salary for the downtown manager position is $50,000, with $20,000 coming from the borough, $15,000 coming from C.F. Martin & Company and $15,000 coming from Northampton County.
Colondo, pointing to progress made during Varone’s tenure, said he didn’t see any reason not to move forward with the approval.
“I don’t see any reason why we would want to table it,” Colondo said. “It’s a bargain at $20,000 a year.”
In other business, Colondo asked residents to sign up for the borough’s new Nixle Information System, which can provide residents with instant alerts and emergency declarations.
Colondo said residents can sign up through Nixle’s website, by calling the borough office or by calling the police department’s non-emergency number. Residents can choose how they would like their information delivered to them, with phone call, email and text message options.