Many things happened at the New Hope Borough Council meeting Tuesday night — chief among them a debate over whether a discounted carpet should be purchased to help dampen echoes and protect the wood floor of the former church, and a farewell presentation to departing councilpersons Ed Duffy and Sharyn Keiser, the latter of whom also served as council president and mentor to the current council president.
The pair chose not to run in last month’s election, undoubtedly having spent countless hours reading through lengthy documents and attending monotonous meetings, and been swept to power shortly after the turn of the millennium along with a new coalition of collaborative Democrats meant to put an end to the contentious political days and stormy public meetings of the past. Both are certain not to disappear from the New Hope community scene.
Also of significance at the Tuesday meeting was passage of the borough’s 2014 balanced budget, which calls for no tax increase, news certain to be universally acclaimed by residents, and tribute perhaps to the financial stability of of the Keiser-Duffy years.
In the political scheme of things, the duo’s voluntary retirement and the recent election leave Borough Council with a Republican majority for the first time in some 12 years. And at least two Republican insiders have expressed interest in assessing the credentials of some council committee members, most notably the Democrat-dominated and powerful Zoning Hearing Board. “The issue is not political, it’s one of transparency,” asserted one.
But the evening’s high point came during the sentimental, largely bi-partisan farewell party for Keiser and Duffy following the council meeting. The spirit of the season prevailed during those glimmering moments as snowflakes drifted in through the outside door as it opened and closed, and one era ended and another began.
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