During their meeting on Thursday, February 2, Northampton Borough Council unanimously voted to make Councilwoman Julia Kutzler their new president. Councilwoman Kutzler becomes the first woman to fill the council president seat, replacing former president Anthony Lopsonzski, Jr., who resigned from council earlier this year after moving out of the borough.
“I am humbled,” said the new council president. “I promise to serve the taxpayers and residents of this borough to the best of my ability and to honor God in all that I do.”
Kutzler was celebrated by her fellow council members, who all wished her well in her new role.
Councilman Ronald Glassic was unanimously voted to serve as council’s vice president. He fills the role previously held by Kutzler.
“I look forward to serving our borough and doing the best I can supporting Ms. Kutzler,” he said after assuming his role.
Council’s current president pro tem will remain Councilman Kenneth Hall.
In other news, Bernadette Singh, a borough resident, was hired as the borough’s new full-time administrative clerk. She will assist borough secretary Meaghan Case with HR, billing, resident communication, and more.
The borough is still looking for applicants to help fill vacant seats on the Zoning Hearing Board and Planning Commission.
Council also voted to approve the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s request to hold the 34th Annual Uptown Northampton Street Fair on Saturday, September 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The popular event, which features crafters, local businesses, and food trucks, will stretch from 17th and Main Street to 21st and Main Street.
During the meeting, the borough’s new LED lighting project was also discussed. Earlier this year, PPL began replacing borough street lights with LED lighting. While there have been some resident complaints, Councilman Glassic said the new lighting is safer and more cost-efficient for the borough.
Several areas of the borough have already been completed, with Councilman Glassic saying feedback from residents in those areas has been positive. The brighter lights make it safer for children, modernize the borough’s appearance, and are estimated to save the borough and taxpayers roughly $700 a month.
During the meeting, Mayor Anthony Pristash also recapped his recent attendance to Catholic Schools Week at Good Shepherd Catholic School where he spoke with over 300 students. He said the students were engaged, and he was impressed by the “thoughtfulness” of their questions about “how the town works and how they can help build a better Northampton.” One young school child even shared a unique idea.
“One of the students asked if they could have a Pirates Day at the pirate ship at Canal Park,” says Mayor Pristash.
The mayor and Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst are working to make this happen on September 19, which happens to be “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”
“I already looked up Johnny Depp’s agent,” Mayor Pristash joked.
“The town is in good shape with the youth,” he added. “I hope they continue to find a mission.”
Finally, discussion in regards to the 2023 pool season has already started. Members of council are working with Brobst and pool employees to discuss ways to make the pool more profitable this year and acquire enough lifeguards. Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. recommended forming a consortium with neighboring municipalities to see if they can share lifeguards.
In addition to hiring new lifeguards, the borough plans to honor past lifeguards. Brobst announced that enough funding was raised to install a memorial bench and plaque at the pool in honor of former lifeguards who have passed away.
The next borough council meeting will be Thursday, February 16 at 7 p.m.