Council appoints transition members
Council passed the 2008 budget with no tax increase.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU
SHARON, Pa. — The transition committee expected to oversee Sharon’s change to a home rule government is expected to start its work in mid-January.
Voters decided in November to eliminate the current form of government in favor of a home rule charter that includes an appointed city manager and financial officer, and a county council.
At Thursday’s meeting, city council named its members of the transition committee. Councilmen Vic Heutsche and Darin Flower will be city representatives. Named as citizen representatives are outgoing council president Fred Hoffman and Joe Biro, news director and commentator at WPIC radio.
The home rule study commission has named its representatives for the transition committee. Study commission members William McConnell Jr., David George and Francis Connelly, who is also a city council member, will serve. The study commission also named Edward Palanski and Robert Wilson as citizen members.
Jennifer Barborak, also an outgoing council member, was named an alternate to the transition committee.
“We need to do what is best for this city. I would hope this transition committee can keep its way,” Hoffman said.
In other business, council passed the $7.5 million general fund budget. Heutsche noted that this is the third year council has not raised property taxes and that three years ago the millage rate was cut by three mills.
Property taxes will remain at 39.5 mills with 34.5 mills going toward general costs and 5 mills toward debt. One mill of tax brings in about $100,000 to the city budget. A homeowner with a house valued at $17,500 will pay about $700 in city real estate taxes next year.
The budget does include $60,000 for the Community Library of the Shenango Valley and an additional $42,000 paid to service contracts on behalf of the library. The original budget proposed by Mayor Bob Lucas did not allocate any money for the library, which had been a city department until early 2007 when a nonprofit board of directors took over.
Lucas said there is a $288,000 surplus left from the 2007 budget.