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Ford City Council reorganizes and says focus will be on a 'positive attitude'

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2002

FORD CITY - A council member with two years experience serving on council was elected its president in a reorganizational vote at last night's regular public meeting.

Dan Cousins was elected to the two-year position by a vote of 4-2 following the swearing in of new council members Ron Gribik and Steve Kozuch who replaced Lou Vergari and Jackie Fijal.

Cousins said he expects the new council to have a different attitude than recent councils.

"I see it being positive," said Cousins. "It should take a totally new direction with new ideas, an openness and create an interest with the community."

Cousins was nominated by Kozuch. Homer Pendleton nominated Tim Malec. Jerry Miklos, Gribik and Kozuch each cast their vote for Cousins.

Gribik was elected by a 6-0 vote for vice-president of borough council after Malec declined a nomination.

Cousins asked each member of council what issues they thought were most important.

Gribik listed improvements on Ford and other streets as his priority.

"As a group if we tackle issues, we can be more productive," said Gribik.

Miklos gave as his priorities, establishing a nepotism policy, a public newsletter and a clear picture of the financial condition of the borough.

"At this point the finances are very cloudy," said Miklos.

Kozuch said cost saving efforts were needed.

Pendleton said council members should give more of their time to the borough.

"Come in here often, not once in a month," said Pendleton.

Malec agreed with Pendleton.

"Six people should be working toward the betterment of the town," said Malec.

Malec also wants Ford Street to be the showplace in the revitalization of the borough.

Council agreed on shorter public meetings and seeking out more citizens for committees.

Miklos proposed a set of operating procedures for council to review and approve.

The procedures were in regard to: minutes of meetings being distributed in five days and voted on by the next meeting; notice time given for special meetings called; keeping the public informed in regard to borough business; labor and contract negotiation meetings taking place only with the knowledge of every council member; and the approval of expenses other than emergency; and normal operating only by a vote of the entire council.

"This was put together in an effort to avoid some of the problems we've had in the past," said Miklos.

Council decided to review the procedures prior to voting at the February public meeting.

After the reorganization, council addressed regular borough business.

Council discussed the possible 2002 CDBG project on Ford Street. Municipal proposals need to be submitted to the county by Jan. 18.

It was discussed that citizen income surveys needed to qualify for the grant must be turned no later than by Feb. 1. Mayor Jeff Pyle stressed the importance of citizens completing the surveys.

Council approved 6-0 to file for the grant in the amount of $116,000. Council will decide later if Ford Street will be paved by asphalt or by bricks if the grant is approved.

Council took action to get its third of three wells in working order with a new motor for the pump.

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