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Marlborough Hires Full-time Police Officer
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent

            The business of the monthly Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors meeting on March 13 began with the swearing-in of police officer Carlos Cartagena who becomes Marlborough's fourth full-time police officer.

            With Cartagena's mother, Iris Robles, holding a Bible, Chairman Brian Doremus administered the oath in front of a large contingent of Cartagena's family, friends and fellow police officers from other area municipalities before Cartagena was presented with his badge.

            Cartagena was hired after an extensive application and interview process. According to the minutes of the supervisor's work session, held on February 25, Chief Darren Morgan, Doremus and Supervisor Billy Hurst interviewed candidates and rated them using a point system. Cartagena scored the highest.

            "We felt that he was the best candidate and will continue to be an asset to the department and community for many years to come," Morgan said of Cartagena who was working as a part-time officer for Marlborough.

            "As the years went on," related Morgan, "I saw how much of an asset he was to the department from being a bilingual officer to building a bond with the children of Marlborough elementary as he went on multiple occasions and played with the children at recess."

            In addition to the full-time staff, Marlborough employs a part-time officer and is in the process of looking for a second part-timer.

            "The board of supervisors and I agreed that more police coverage along with the safety of the residents was of utmost importance," Morgan said. "The residents of the township are very supportive of the police department and value us being here, and we want to be here for them in their time of need."

            Following the exodus of the members of the audience who had come for the swearing in, resident Bruce Jackson, who is a member of the township's Zoning Hearing Board, addressed the supervisors about some potentially lost records.

            Last month Township Manager Marybeth Cody spearheaded a clean-up of old paperwork housed in the township building. The township intends to shred the outdated materials in the coming months but invited citizens to inquire about documents they were concerned about.

            Jackson did just that, asking about files for the township's long-defunct civic association. Jackson claims that he brought the records of the organization to the township about 12 to 15 years ago and that they were placed in a file cabinet in the township building.

            Jackson asserted that he recognized the file cabinet when he recently took a look into the records room. The alleged cabinet in question is now being used by Emergency Services but there is no sign of the civic association records.

            "There is a need to get to those documents, suddenly," Jackson said. "We're investigating the possibility of reactivating the organization. Our reason for doing so is we have a little bit of money that we never spent. There's consideration of trying to transfer that to the MAPS organization for the Wetzel Mill project going on."

            Previously, Jackson had requested that Cody check through the old materials for the civic association documents, but she came up empty.

            "I'm asking for a thorough search through those papers before anything gets shredded," Jackson said.

            Solicitor Mark Cappuccio cautioned against Jackson's offer to help with the search, citing the potential of exposing confidential information, such as social security numbers.

            Cappuccio also told Jackson that he could go to the state for certified copies of the documents. Jackson acknowledged that he was aware of that option.

            Doremus and Cody did promise to conduct another search before the shredding, which has not yet been scheduled.

            Cody also announced that the township has received a $10,000 PECO Energy Company grant that will go toward floating docks at Lake Skymount.

            The township manager also reported that the township will be receiving $133,885 in liquid fuels money from the state, and informed the supervisors that she and Public Works Director Jake Ferguson have been investigating the viability of getting road salt in conjunction with a consortium of Montgomery County municipalities instead of from COSTARS, the state's cooperative purchasing program.

            "The difference in price from what we're paying right now to what Montgomery County Consortium received...would have been a savings of $7,000," Cody said.

            Ferguson has been checking with maintenance departments that go through the county and reported that they have been happy with the cost and the timeliness of the salt deliveries.

            Both cautioned the supervisors that cost savings year-to-year are unpredictable, but the consortium has a long track record of beating COSTARS prices.

            After deliberation, the supervisors unanimously approved a motion to rescind the approval of a salt purchase from COSTARS for next winter and to continue to investigate working with the county consortium.

            Ferguson also got approval to advertise for bids for road repair materials with special emphasis on fixing issues on Campbell Rd.

            Cody conveyed a warning from the state that there will be traffic disruptions on Route 63 as PennDOT prepares for bridge reconstruction which is expected to completely close the road later in the spring.

            A supervisor's work session is scheduled for March 25, and the next board meeting is April 10.





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