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Jul 20

March 20th, 2019 Business Meeting - Mayor's Report

Posted on July 20, 2019 at 9:06 AM by Garry Herbert

On Thursday, March 28th the Police Chief and I attended the local NAACP event that took place in Ambler where they highlighted the good works they plan on doing throughout the year and swore in their new executive officers. Additionally, the NAACP handed out their awards for the essay scholarships to multiple high school and middle school aged children. After receiving their award the children read their essays or poems about how they believe they could positively impact race relations in their community. It was revealing how many children where able to accurately articulate what it takes for our communities to heal wounds created by hateful language and action. They encouraged conversation, discussion, understanding, and acceptance. Themes we can all relate to and have some control over.

Yesterday, March 19th, I attended a meeting of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary of Lansdale at Calvary Baptist Church. For those who don’t know, they are the uniformed volunteer branch of the U.S. Coast Guard that supports all the main missions of the Coast Guard. Staffed by 19 volunteers who gave 2,430 hours of their time to 2018 missions. Their main focus is Small Waterway Patrols at Lake Nockamixon and Blue Marsh Lake and Vessel Examinations - to ensure all boats have the proper equipment on board. Additionally, they support Public Education on Boating Safety from Willow Grove to Quakertown. Currently, they are preparing for their Boating Safety courses that takes place throughout the year in addition to the 2019 patrol season. I would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication to keeping the surrounding area safe throughout the busy boating season.

Additionally, Yesterday the Chief and I met with a representative from the county who works on community outreach and alert systems. She helped us understand the various options we have in delivering timely alerts to our community through Free technology that is managed by the county. Examples include the more benign like traffic alerts, Weather alerts, to the more serious events like open shooter and chemical spills. In the coming months it is our hope that our staff will be trained on this system so that we can utilize it in our Emergency Management and community management efforts.

This bring me to my final point this evening, over the course of the last few weeks the Chief and I have had several discussions about the proposed Fire Inspection/Fire Chief/Emergency Management position that we are currently hiring for. Based on what FEMA expects from a local Emergency Manager, I am convinced that this needs to be a stand alone position that is appointed in coordination with my office. In the event of an emergency, which I recognize we don’t have every day, we do not want to have someone who only spends, at most a third, of their time thinking about how we will handle such events. That is too much risk in my opinion. Instead, we should have a person dedicated to preparing for all possible scenarios that might occur in our community and be aptly prepared to handle them as they occur. Because of our location on a rail line and outside one of the largest cities in the country, That person will need to foster relationships with private and public entities to understand their procedures and practices to ensure our systems align with theirs. We are not an island and this job will require dedicated time, effort, and skill. Naturally, this will require us to change the existing ordinance for the role and for us to allocate funds to such an effort. I would as council take this action as soon as possible.

As you all know, office hours are 9-5 on Tuesday’s and 9 - noon on Saturdays.