Eight candidates are vying for four seats on the 6-1 Republican-controlled Hatboro Borough Council.
Residents can "meet" them all through profiles posted (alphabetically by last name) here on Patch. (Click here to see Patricia Fleming's profile, here to see Michael Gorn's profile, here to see Thomas Harbaugh's profile, here to see Toni Kistner's profile, here to see Marty Palmer's profile, here to see Bill Tompkins' profile, or here to see Ray Wallrath's profile).
JOHN J. ZYGMONT, 57, a Hatboro resident since 1979, holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. He is a partner at Galinski, Tillman and Zygmont, his place of employment since 1978.
Hatboro's current council president, Zygmont has served on the borough council since 2006.
He has been a board member of Hatboro Federal Savings since 1993 and had served on the Hatboro-Horsham School Board from 1996 through 2002.
Zygmont is also past president, treasurer and borough representative of the Union Library of Hatboro (1984 through 2005).
He served as president of the Hatboro Borough Authority from 2004 through 2005, was treasurer of the Upper Moreland-Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority from 1991 through 1995 and previously served as treasurer for the Greater Hatboro Chamber of Commerce.
What best qualifies you for a term on the Hatboro Borough Council?
My background includes experience working in various components of local government (Hatboro Council, Municipal Authorities, and the Hatboro-Horsham School District). As a CPA, I have a background in finance, tax and accounting and work with a variety of business, individual, and nonprofit organizations.
What do you see as the big issues facing the town?
Maintaining and improving the quality of life. Council must focus on public safety, maintaining and improving our parks and facilities, trash collection, and economic development. We need to do these things efficiently, while adopting processes and ideas that allow us to improve the quality of life in the borough.
If elected, how would you work to handle those issues?
There are a number of factors involved in most decisions that council faces. Council must weigh the benefits to the community, long and short-term financial implications, and legal requirements and responsibilities. Council must consider these factors regardless of pressures to short cut the process and work together to accomplish goals.
What do you see as the best approach to dealing with the borough’s shortage of building space (i.e. police and public works) and need to renovate/update those buildings?
The current approach. Hatboro hired a consultant to work with department heads to evaluate the space needs. The report indicates a need for additions/renovations of borough facilities. Council unanimously voted to explore the plan. Committees (with resident input) will report council on each component. Council will then make informed decisions.
What’s your vision for Main Street and how would you, as a council member, help the borough realize that vision?
Hatboro is evolving into a dining and retail destination. Business recruiting efforts have resulted in a substantial increase in occupancies. Hatboro must: maintain and improve infrastructure, emphasize pedestrian safety, and work with the business community to attract businesses. Our support of the Main Street program has helped in this area.
How can council work to preserve Hatboro’s history and its historic buildings?
The borough is waiting for the Millbrook Society to complete the inventory of historically significant properties in Hatboro. This is the first step in developing an ordinance that will address historic preservation. It's important that we preserve buildings, but we must consider the rights of property owners while doing it.
As Hatboro redefines itself through redevelopments such as Station Park and the planned reuse of the former Cosmopolitan Motors, what do you see as the borough’s future and how can elected officials work to shape that?
As a small, older community, Hatboro needs to pursue redevelopment that will expand our tax base. We must remain current in our knowledge of trends in development/redevelopment and carefully weigh development proposals. We must be sure that the interests of the entire community are protected through the planning/zoning process.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We need to continually balance our visions with realities, looking long-range with ideas and goals. We must remember that improvements have associated costs and sometimes unintended consequences. Council needs to be aware of the wants and desires of residents, must balance them with associated consequences, and make informed decisions.
Related: Patricia Fleming
Related: Michael Gorn
Related: Thomas Harbaugh
Related: Toni Kistner
Related: Marty Palmer
Related: Bill Tompkins
Related: Ray Wallrath