Hazleton City Council Meeting
Hazleton – It was a five nothing vote to appoint Ralph Sharp as the director of public transit during Thursday night’s Hazleton City Council meeting. Ralph Sharp held the position as the parking authority director and was named director of public transit, when the mayor decided former director Steve Hahn, should be the city administrator.
“The council..It didn’t pass so he (the mayor) put him in as acting,” said Jim Perry the President of City Council.
Sharp has been an acting director and the vote was to place Sharp into the permanent position according to Perry. The City Council President said the changes aren’t making too many waves and he’s happy to see the change. Although the confirmation of appointing Ralph Sharp as the director of public transit was an issue the night took a sharp turn when the council decided to table the department of public works contract. Before the meeting on Thursday night, Frank Vito, the Public Works Foreman seemed optimistic about the vote.
“You know we’re hoping council had a chance to look at what the union is looking for and hopefully they’ll pass it five to nothing,” Vito said.
Public works employees believed it wasn’t as easy for the council to make a decision on the city workers contract because of recent tax issues. Department members that were at the meeting said they are torn about the council’s decision to table their contract.
“ I guess the financial crunch. The city is strapped a little bit..the tax hike the city is loosing money they can’t collect the taxes. Living is going up everything is going up. Fuel. Heating,” said John Brogan a city worker
Perry said the council voted to table the decision so they can better review the contract and revote.
There are some issues that need to be addressed. We just weren’t sure about all the issues and the total impact that the budget would have,” said Perry.
The council also discussed issues about tax collecting. Hazleton expects a big check for real estate, earned income and local services in the next few weeks from the cities old tax collector Centax who went out of business.Berheimer Collections will replace them.