On Thursday, November 4, Northampton Borough Council and Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst remembered late councilman and former borough Fire Chief Keith Piescienski.
Piescienski passed away on October 26. Born and raised in Northampton, he served as councilman for the borough’s First Ward for eight years. He was also an active member of the Northampton Volunteer Fire Department for over 50 years. During his memorial service and celebration of life, volunteers from the fire department and fire police were present to pay their respects.
“The fire department just pulled together,” said Fire Police Chief and Councilman Kenneth Hall. “We put together the opposite of what [Piescienski] would have wanted,” he joked. “He was not that kind of person.”
“I haven’t seen that many people in uniform since I got out of the army,” added Brobst.
Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. credited the display to Piescinski himself.
“Keith was a well,” he said. “He passed that knowledge on to different people, and you can see the results.”
In addition to his service as a councilman and firefighter, Piescienski also served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He received military honors during his funeral.
Brobst was emcee during the memorial service, something he called a privilege.
“I knew [Piescienski] for most of his life,” said Brobst. “We went to school together.”
Brobst’s and Piescienski’s close relationship lasted into adulthood.
“He used to come into my office all the time,” he told council. “We were like brothers…I miss him.”
Following Piescienski’s passing, council has a vacancy it must fill by November 18. Members of the public are encouraged to apply. In addition to being a registered voter, candidates must have lived in the borough’s First Ward for at least one year and must continue to live in the First Ward during the length of their service.
Council will be accepting applications until November 18, during which time they’ll interview candidates and vote to fill the vacancy by resolution. The individual selected will fill out the remainder of Piescienski’s term through 2023.
In other news, during the November 4 meeting, members of the Alliance Fire Company board were present to donate $3,000 to the Northampton Volunteer Fire Department.
“We want to give back to the community like the old days,” said Alliance president Todd Csencsits.
The fire hall had been closed for five months during COVID-19. Now, Csencsits says they are trying to rebuild through monthly events and new member recruitment.
Also announced during the meeting is that the borough will receive several grant awards. One, for $34,000, will go toward a new police cruiser. Another grant for $10,000 will go toward the borough’s Monarch butterfly preservation project. Finally, a $22,000 grant will go toward trail improvements.
The date and time for the borough’s annual tree lighting were also announced. The ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, November 28. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m., with Santa arriving around 6 p.m.
Finally, council approved a borough shredding event for Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Northampton Community Center.
The next borough council meeting will be on Thursday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m.