JERSEY SHORE - One month after hiring Joe Hamm as interim borough manager, council Monday night voted to hire him as borough secretary.
Hamm apparently will assume the same responsibilities whether he is borough manager or secretary.
But that didn't prevent council from considering amending an ordinance that would have waived a requirement that a borough manager live within five miles of the borough.
"It doesn't really make much difference," said Councilman Sean Simcox following Monday's borough meeting. "He is coming to work (today)."
Hamm, who resides in Cogan Station, technically id unable to serve as borough manager because he lives too far from Jersey Shore.
But if his duties will remain the same, despite the title, why did council argue for so long over the ordinance?
Upon leaving Monday's meeting, Councilman Wade Snyder said with a smile he was puzzled about the issue.
The same went for Councilman John Pisarcik. "I'm about as confused as a termite in a yo-yo," he said.
Pisarcik, chairman of the personnel committee, noted that council had few candidates applying for the position who were qualified for the job.
Hamm, who will earn $40,000 per year in the position, previously worked in sales and holds a bachelor's degree in political science.
Simcox said he preferred to have a borough manager live in the borough.
He said a borough manager should spend his money where he earns it because as borough manager he advises council on decisions about money matters, including taxes.
Others said a borough secretary needs to live close by in order to reach the borough in an emergency, such as a flood.
The vote to hire Hamm as full-time borough secretary was 6-1.
Voting in favor were Simcox, Pisarcik, Marguerite Dyroff, Janet Barnhart, Deborah Colocino and Ken Scheesley.
Voting no was Wade Snyder. Councilwoman Mary Greene was absent.
In a related matter, Burt Francis, 207 Wilson St., told council he is still awaiting answers about the reasons behind the firing of former Borough Manager Gretchen Speicher.
"I am at least entitled the courtesy of a response," he said.
Council fired Speicher in April but never gave reasons for doing so.
Council agreed to apply for a $50,000 line of credit with Jersey Shore State Bank to purchase and lease properties for the boat launch project.
Mayor Dennis Buttorff told council he is hopeful that some grant money is available for the boat launch along the Susquehanna River, which would link with the rails to trails going through the borough.