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State College Borough Council Welcomes New Members, Elects President

by on January 06, 2014 1:09 PM

Two new members have officially joined State College Borough Council.

Magisterial District Judge Carmine Prestia conducted the swearing-in ceremony for new council members Evan Myers and Theresa Lafer on Monday afternoon in council chambers. The two were elected to the board in November.

Myers is the Chief Operating Officer at AccuWeather and former borough Planning Commission chairman. During his time with AccuWeather he has served on the board of directors since 1976. Other experience includes on-air meteorologist.

He also served on the Consolidation Study Commission and Downtown Strategic Plan Committee. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in meteorology and business.

"I'm ready to go," says Myers. "I think there are a lot of things that people in the borough are concerned about and I've been listening."

Myers suggested council hold meetings outside of chambers to better connect with the public.

"We ask them to come to us. Why can't we go to them?" Myers says. "We work for them."

Lafer previously served on council between 2008 and 2012. She is employed as an adjunct professor and staff member at Penn State. She has also served as a member of the State College Community Land Trust.

She has a master's degree in higher education administration from Penn State. She also has a master's degree in medieval history and sociology from The State University of New York-Binghamton.

"I'm very pleased to be back on council. I'm looking forward to working with each other again and continuing to work on housing, student (issues) and the community," says Lafer.

Councilman Tom Daubert was also sworn in as he was reelected as councilman.

Following the ceremony, the 2014 council held a reorganization meeting during which the board elected Councilman Jim Rosenberger as council president. Council approved Rosenberger as president with a voice vote; no one on council opposed the measure.

"I don't expect to bring any big radical change. We'll focus on good governance and financial soundness," Rosenberger says.

He also plans to focus on regional cooperation with neighboring municipalities.

"When we work together we work more efficiently and serve our people better," Rosenberger says.

Councilwoman Sarah Klinetob nominated Councilman Peter Morris as president; however, the motion did not have enough support to be voted on by council.

Myers and Lafer replace outgoing council members Donald Hahn and Ronald Filippelli. During a brief meeting Monday for the 2013 council, Mayor Elizabeth Goreham presented Hahn and Filippelli gifts of appreciation for their service.

In other business, council approved a natural gas vehicle grant application with a voice vote. No one on council opposed the measure.

Centre County asked the borough to be a project partner in the second round of grant funding through the Pennsylvania Natural Gas Energy Development Program. The program requires the purchase of at least five natural gas vehicles and requires a 50/50 match for the incremental purchase price of new natural gas vehicles.

The borough currently has two compressed natural gas refuse trucks, which officials say has resulted in improved efficiency and decreased maintenance costs.

The $50,000 grant would be used to fund two natural gas fueled refuse trucks in 2014 for commercial collection. The borough's matched funds will come from the Asset Replacement Fund.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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