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STONE HARBOR - While the continuing pandemic dampened some of the ceremony and tradition, Stone Harbor Borough Council conducted its annual reorganization meeting Jan. 5. 

As it did so, riffs on the council showed, later prompting Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour to ask council members to interact with each other and keep in mind the sacrifices all of them make to serve the public. It was, in some ways, a call for unity on a council that recently displayed division.

Most of the meeting dealt with the normal routine that characterizes reorganization meetings. Two council members were sworn in, as was Davies-Dunhour.

Robin Casper, new to the council and taking the seat of Joselyn Rich, who lost a bid for reelection during the Republican primary, spoke of her family’s long association with the borough. She noted her involvement in environmental issues, including her service on the borough’s Go Green Committee. 

Casper grew up in Stone Harbor, lived and raised her children in Pennsylvania, and returned, in 2016.

Reese Moore won election to a full term on council, after serving as an appointed member for the unexpired term of Karen Lane. Moore relocated from Pennsylvania to Stone Harbor, in 2013. 

Before taking a seat on the council, Moore served as a trustee of the Stone Harbor Property Owners Association (SHPOA), the last year as vice president. Moore served as chair of the council’s utilities committee and had a leadership role in the borough’s water conservation efforts. He also served as the council liaison to SHPOA.

Davies-Dunhour was reelected to her second term as mayor in November, following service as a council member. She has been on the governing body for 12 years. Before entering local politics, she had a 25-year career as a borough police officer.

At the end of the meeting, Davies-Dunhour called 2020 the most challenging year in her career. She asked council members to come together to preserve the character and uniqueness of the borough while also shepherding the community into a future dominated by complex issues.

Once a full council was in place, the agenda moved to the selection of a council president for 2021. Sitting Council President Charles Krafczek nominated Councilman Ray Parzych. The vote was 6-0.

Davies-Dunhour would have to cast her vote on the next agenda item, the appointment of a council representative to the Planning Board. Krafczek, who served in that role, in 2020, was nominated, but the vote was 3-3. Davies-Dunhour cast the vote that reappointed Krafczek to the position for the next year. Krafczek is a real estate developer in the borough.   

Councilman Frank Dallahan remarked that the list of reappointments to boards and committees failed to list Moore’s liaison position with SHPOA. Davies-Dunhour said the omission was intentional, and that she felt the council needed to reevaluate an appointment to SHPOA given that it does not have liaisons to other private organizations in the borough. 

She promised the matter would be on the agenda for the next council meeting. Some SHPOA members played a role in the recent defeat of the lot grading ordinance strongly supported by Davies-Dunhour and Krafczek.

In other business, Robert Smith was reappointed as the borough administrator. He took that position at the start of 2020 before the pandemic made its appearance in the county. Davies-Dunhour praised his leadership during a “baptism of fire.”

Two ordinances were introduced at the meeting. One sets the salary ranges for 2021. The other would allow the purchase of property by the borough on Third Avenue. Both ordinances will come up for a final vote and requirea public hearing, in February.

In closing comments, Parzych reminded his colleagues that the borough has “many big projects facing us this year.” 

To contact Vince Conti, email vconti@cmcherald.com.

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