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Pennsburg Cancels Reopening Resolution Meeting
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            A meeting in Pennsburg to discuss the mayor's proposal to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19 has been cancelled. Borough Council will not convene virtually for the May 26 workshop meeting, according to an email received by the Town and Country from a borough official. 

            According to the message, received by one council member at 9:34 a.m. on Wednesday, Mayor Vicki Lightcap had not yet submitted a version of her resolution addressing the opening of municipal businesses in a timely matter. It states that a resolution of this magnitude "would require thorough legal review and discussion prior to presenting it at a public meeting".

            The message states that the borough solicitor "does not feel he would have ample time to responsibly provide a review".  The proposed resolution was the only topic for the meeting, according to the email.

            Lightcap expressed surprise at the decision. Reached Wednesday afternoon, she said she had not yet seen the email message announcing the cancelation.

            "I'm stunned by this," the mayor said. "Somebody must have gotten to (council). It appears they are not listening to the small business owners in the borough."

            According to Lightcap, she informed the borough solicitor on Wednesday morning that she was having another attorney review a version of the one-and-a-half-page resolution in order to help expedite approval.

            On May 12, the mayor asked council to help her create a resolution to assist local merchants adversely affected by the pandemic. The resolution would provide a road map for owners and operators to partner with the borough in order to regain a foothold in the economy. Lightcap argued that Gov. Tom Wolf's mandatory closures were creating unnecessary despair and economic hardships.

            "People are losing their lives," Lightcap said during the Zoom meeting. "Something has to be done."

            Council unanimously approved a motion to create a resolution to help businesses reopen. The mayor, a Republican candidate in next month's Primary Election for the 131st State House District seat, said the language would include the guidelines set by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention along with social distancing standards.

            Later Council President Diane Stevens expressed concern that many residents believed incorrectly that borough officials were planning on allowing businesses to open. That is not a power afforded to municipalities, according to the council president.

            Stevens claims to have been contacted by three Philadelphia TV stations and referred all three to a statement posted on the borough's website. In the statement issued May 14, Stevens explained that Pennsburg council only provided permission for Lightcap to come up with a resolution.

            "Believe me I want all businesses to reopen and people go back to work, but the health, safety and welfare of all must be paramount," Stevens wrote. "To act immediately without proper checks and balances in place is reckless."





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