During their September 7 meeting, the Northampton Borough Council unanimously voted to approve Northampton Area High School junior Mason Smolenak as their newest junior council representative. This non-voting position allows a local student the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the inner workings of local government and serve as a liaison between council and the school district.
After being sworn in by Mayor Tony Pristash, Smolenak was welcomed warmly by his fellow council members and was given the opportunity to read his first report: the July and August fire report.
“We all found him to be a very good young man and an excellent candidate for this job,” Councilwoman Judy Haldeman said of Smolenak.
In addition to being a standout student, Smolenak is also an Auxiliary Air Force Cadet and plans to enroll in the ROTC when he starts college.
“I know you’re going to do a great job,” said Councilman Ronald Glassic. “I’m looking forward to having you just get your feet wet…feel free to always voice your opinion [and] throw your ideas out. There’s no idea here that’s not a good idea.”
“I’m very thankful to be here,” Smolenak said in his first address to council. “I’m really looking forward to working with all of you.”
In other news, council approved two grant applications. The first was a Lehigh-Northampton County Local Share Account Grant for the borough’s fire department. This grant, if awarded, will be used to purchase Panasonic Toughbook computers for the department’s fire apparatus. The grant is for $52,400, and no match is required.
The second grant is a Monroe County Local Share Account Grant for the borough’s police department. The grant, if awarded, will be used to purchase two vehicles for borough detectives at the cost of $89,174. Again, no match is required.
Finally, council celebrated a successful butterfly garden unveiling at Canal Park. The butterfly garden effort has been led by Reverend Jerry Mraz.
“He is tickled pink,” Councilwoman Haldeman said of Mraz. The reverend has passed along his thanks to the borough’s public works and other volunteers who have helped make the garden a success. Several residents have spoken highly of the borough’s new garden.
“It is something you will really be impressed by,” added Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. He encouraged residents to visit it and expressed his admiration for Mraz, who he called a “driving force” behind the butterfly garden and other borough improvements.
The next borough council meeting will be Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m.