Petersburg voters will be able to choose whether to adopt an ordinance that will give Borough employees more flexibility to serve on different boards. Last Monday, Assembly members unanimously passed the ordinance in its final reading.
The ordinance would allow anybody who works for the Borough — which includes employees of Petersburg’s Medical Center and School District — to serve on certain boards and commissions.
But it wouldn’t allow these employees to serve in any role that would directly oversee their own employment. For example: a Borough employee could serve on the School Board, but would not be allowed to run for Assembly.
Unlike the latest reading, the last two readings were not unanimous. Assembly Member Donna Marsh was the sole holdout. In the second reading, Marsh said she wasn’t comfortable with the possibility that the ordinance could put an employee in a situation where they couldn’t make a fair decision. But she changed her mind after receiving mixed feedback from the community.
“In the last few weeks, I have studied and contemplated and surveyed people, friends and acquaintances and people across counters when I go conduct business with them,” said Marsh. “It’s been almost an even split. I am going to vote in favor of this, so that the people themselves — the voters of Petersburg — have the opportunity to have the final say.”
Tony Vinson is an employee of the Petersburg Medical Center. He tried to run for the Borough Assembly last year, but was excluded due to a rule that prevents PMC employees from serving on any borough boards or commissions. In his public testimony at last week’s Assembly Meeting, Vinson asked the community to reconsider this rule.
“We have a population of about 3,000,” said Vinson. “I just feel like we just don’t have much of a pool to choose from to begin with, and to diminish that just seems like an injustice.”
Petersburg voters will have the opportunity to choose whether or not to adopt the ordinance on October 3rd. The next Assembly Meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 17th, and will take place in the Assembly Chambers.