Elizabethtown Borough is likely to present a conditional offer of employment to a new police chief in the very near future, Council President Marc Hershey said.
At the council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 2, Hershey gave an update on the search for a successor to Police Chief Jack Mentzer, whose retirement is imminent. Hershey said the borough has contracted with SafeCity Solutions to accept and review applications for the job and the pool of applicants has been narrowed down. The search firm is based in the Philadelphia suburb of Perkasie.
Mentzer said in an interview after the meeting that at his own request, he has played no role in the search for his successor; he said he asked to be out of the search because he did not want there to be any appearance of favoritism. He added that nobody from within the department had applied to be the new chief.
In other business, Borough Manager Roni Ryan gave a presentation about the budget. The assessed value of the taxable land in the borough has risen 34 percent from $469.2 million to $630.9 million in the latest reassessment, Ryan said. But she said that by law, the borough’s 2018 property tax rate cannot increase revenues by more than 10 percent over the 2017 rate.
“Your real estate taxes will not be going up by 34 percent. … They might still go up ― we certainly don’t set school board and county levels,” Hershey said.
The borough’s property tax rate will affect all owners of taxable property in the borough. Renters will not be affected directly, but landlords factor in the expense of property taxes when deciding how much to charge for rent.
Council members agreed to advertise five special meetings to go over the budget in detail, though they acknowledged that some will likely be canceled. They are a6 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9; 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14; 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 20; 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14. Ryan said if a meeting is canceled, a notice will be posted on the door of the borough office building.
A proposed budget for 2018 and a maximum possible 2018 property tax rate should be approved for advertisement and public review and comment at regular Borough Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16; the final approval of the 2018 property tax rate and 2018 budget is planned for the meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21.
Also at the meeting, Ann Roda was introduced as the new assistant borough manager. She began her job on Monday, Oct. 30. She is the successor to Cindy Foster, who moved on to be the borough manager in Lemoyne.