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Jersey Shore has first female mayor

Abbey Welker fills vacancy

Abbey Welker

JERSEY SHORE– The Jersey Shore Borough council unanimously appointed Abbey Welker to fill the mayor vacancy, making her the first female mayor in the borough’s history.

Welker was among four residents who applied for the position, according to Councilman Paul Garrett.

“We liked her a lot. She was very affable. She works with the public all the time and has a lot of good ideas,” Garrett said.

Welker was born and raised in Jersey Shore and works as a funeral director with her father Toby at the family-owned Frederick B. Welker Funeral Home Inc. along Main Street.

She has been a life member of the Church of Saint Luke in Jersey Shore, also a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club in Jersey Shore, the Jersey Shore Lioness Club, Central Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association. Her memberships also include the Avis American Legion Post 284, Jersey Shore V.F.W. Post 5859, Jersey Shore Moose Lodge #214 and the Jersey Shore Elks Lodge #1057.

“I’m a life long resident and I care so much about our town. It’s such a special community. I’m very proud and honored to be able to be part of something great,” Welker said.

Welker noted that she was one of the first female funeral directors in the area, so breaking a barrier isn’t entirely new to her.

“Being the first woman mayor of our wonderful borough is definitely something to be excited about,” she said.

Welker’s position is effective immediately with the term ending in Dec. 2021 with the next election.

Although she doesn’t have any set plans to run for the office following the expiration of her term, Welker said it is something she’ll consider.

In other business, council “regretfully” agreed to Joe Hamm’s resignation as borough manager and appointed Cody Hoover in his place in the in-person meeting on Monday night.

Hamm was recently announced as the winner of 84th state House seat in the Nov. 3 election, and therefore needed to resign from his position.

Before leaving the meeting to head to Harrisburg, Hamm had the opportunity to give out meritorious service award plaques to the firefighters, police officers and first responders who are credited with saved a man’s life at the 120 S. Broad St. fire in February.

Borough council unanimously approved holiday parade and lighting needs from the Jersey Shore Town Meeting organization including:

–The Santa Parade, Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. with an alternate route from Locust Street to South Broad Street to Smith Street

–Use of gazebo lot for holiday celebrations, Saturday Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

–Christmas light installation throughout the borough and at the gazebo.

In another business matter, council agreed to apply for a state Department of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Grant, which could give the borough $500,000 for their active transportation needs.

Council also agreed to buy a new Ford 450 truck for a total of $84,394.20 including the bed, equipment and plow, and to sell their old truck on Municibid.

In last month’s meeting, a resolution was passed for a handicap parking spot at the property of 414 S. Broad St. At this meeting, an ordinance was approved for that same parking spot and it shall remain a handicap parking spot until further notice.

A multitude of resolutions were also approved including the appointment of Cody Hoover, borough manager to be a borough representative for the Central Keystone Council of Governments, to be a designated signatory and to be a environmental review certifying officer for urban development projects

In other news, police regionalization seems to be moving forward, though the police commission is still in “talks” or discussion in terms of whether this regionalization will be of benefit financially and coverage wise, according to Sean Simcox, council member.

Council announced that there will be a public budget work session on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. and an executive session for the board only on Nov. 23 to discuss contract agreements.

Members present: Simcox, Barb E. Schmoulder, Scott Bierly, Paul Garrett, Kenneth Scheesley, Janet Barnhart, Dennis Thompson and Mike Zellers.

The next Jersey Shore Borough council meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.

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