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New Hope presents junior council awards at May meeting


New Hope hosted an award presentation by the State Association of Boroughs for distinguished junior council seniors at the borough’s May 22 council meeting.

Council member Laurie McHugh was joined by Second Vice President Edward Child of the state association and state Rep. Wendi Thomas to recognize the New Hope-Solebury High School seniors with Distinguished Junior Council Person Awards, and Thomas also presented them with certificates of recognition.

The junior council has focused its efforts on the reduction of the community’s carbon footprint while creating greater sustainability.

New Hope is the first borough in the state to recognize five junior council people for awards, according to Child. He said that 100-120 junior council persons are active in high schools across the state at any one time. The awards honored Junior Council members Maryna Chuma, Ethan Gross, Larissa Borys, Ben DuPont and Kayla Paul-Koch.

In other business, Mayor Laurence Keller introduced the new part-time police officer who is replacing a retiring officer. Chris O’Connor was approved unanimously and was sworn in with his father, Lt. Matthew O’Connor of the Doylestown Police Department, by his side.

An ordinance to authorize the Borough of New Hope to enter into an intergovernmental agreement between the borough and Solebury Township for the joint use of recreational facilities was introduced by Borough Solicitor T.J. Walsh. The cost to the borough would be $5,000 and teams would be subject to the same fees as township teams.

The motion passed unanimously.

Several board appointments were made, including Matt Wojaczyk as the building inspector for the historic and architectural review board (HARB), Sally Onesti Blair to the parks and recreation board, and Bill Goodwin to the zoning hearing board as an alternate. All appointments were approved with full board support.

Carolyn Chaiko, Kevin Joy and Dee Dee Bowman have left HARB and board member Ken Maisel publicly thanked them while expressing excitement over his anticipated “resurrection and revitalization” of the board. Maisel, who is the council liaison to the HARB, touted Wojaczyk’s experience as a preservation planner. He made a motion to engage Richard Grubb & Associates for consultant services for assistance with HARB reviews.

Resident Edward Duffy said that he was disheartened with the exodus of a “core amount of knowledge that is hard to replace,” referring to the departing HARB veterans. He added that he had faith in Maisel’s direction “to get this back together.” But he expressed regrets for the “drop in support by council” for HARB.

The motion passed unanimously.