Local Business Owner Appointed Mayor of New Bethlehem
(Photo courtesy of GordonBarrows.com)
The most intriguing of those motions, however, was one of the final ones as Council tabbed a new mayor to replace departing mayor, Tim Murray.
Four New Bethlehem Borough residents submitted letters of interests for the vacant mayoral position with those four being Gordon Barrows, David Collett, Tracie Price, and Ronny Geist.
Collett and Barrows both made statements to Council outlining their qualifications to fulfill the position, with Barrows reading a statement from Geist who could not be present. Price was not present at the meeting.
Council member Stewart Bain made the one and only motion for any of the candidates and that was to appoint Barrows as the new mayor. Don Heeter seconded the motion, and it passed with a 4-1 vote with Council president, Sandra Mateer, casting the lone no vote. Barrows abstained from the vote.
Barrows, a Redbank Valley graduate, is the founder of TechReady Professionals which operates as a computer technology and internet marketing business. TechReady Professionals also owns and operates the community website, RedbankValley.org.
In addition to his business ventures, Barrow also serves on the Board of Directors for the Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce; Redbank Valley Rennaisance; Redbank Valley Municipal Authority; Redbank Valley Community Center; and has been a long time council member, just recently being re-elected to his post that he will be vacating to take over as mayor.
Barrows obtained both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Clarion University and is currently enrolled at Liberty University in pursuit of his Doctorate of Business Administration.
Barrows will complete the final two years of Tim Murray’s term. Murray recently resigned his mayoral post due to moving outside of the Borough limits with his wife, Jennifer. Jennifer resigned from her Council seat, as well.
In a prepared statement to Council, Barrows said it would be an honor to serve as mayor of the community he has lived in his entire life.
“I would be honored to have the privilege of serving the people of New Bethlehem, to support business, community and personal growth within the Borough, while maintaining the small-town appeal and family-friendly environment that makes New Bethlehem such a great place to work, live, and raise a family.”
Following the appointment of Barrows, Council approved the appointment of Bryan Ruth to complete the final two years of Jennifer Murray’s term.
Council approved previously discussed motions discussing tax hikes, noise and nuisance ordinances, and solid waste fee increases.
Council also passed a motion proposing retention fees for all full-time employees. Originally discussed as a method of retaining police officers, Council amended the motion to include all full-time employees of the borough. Retroactive to January 1, 2019, all full-time employees will receive a $100.00 bonus for each year of service with bonuses being capped at $500.00 for service of more than five years.
Before Council went into an executive session, they set January 6 as their reorganization meeting and approved to advertise all 2020 meetings to be held on the third Tuesday of each month. All meetings are slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.
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