• The Boro

Schickling Tabbed for Vought Supervisor Seat in Tobyhanna Township

POCONO PINES - Rachel Schickling has been selected by the Tobyhanna Supervisors to fill the vacancy left by the sudden resignation of supervisor Lloyd Vought last month.

According to Sara May-Silfee, Monroe County Director of Elections and Voter Registration, Schickling will serve until a successor is elected in November. Schickling, along with Joseph C. Colyer and Edward Tutrone, is a candidate on the May 18 primary ballot for the Republican nomination for township supervisor, along with Tia Marie Fritz, the lone Democratic Party candidate for the seat. However, that is the seat now held by supervisor John Holahan, who has not filed as a candidate in the primary.

According to Silfee, an additional supervisor seat will be placed on the ballot in November. The winner of that seat will take office in January and fill out the remaining four years of Vought’s term.

Schickling was appointed on a vote of 3-1, with Holahan opposing. Voting in favor of Schickling were supervisors John Kerrick, David Carbone, and Brendon Carroll. Kerrick initially tried to abstain, but voted for Schickling when the solicitor said that the nomination would fail unless three votes were cast in favor. In addition to Schickling, Fritz, Mike Erlsten, and Joe Crandall submitted letters of interest in the position.

The supervisors once again deferred action on short term rentals (STR) in the township. During the discussion some supervisors expressed concern over the burden that permitting and regulating STRs would place on the township staff and payroll.

The solicitor noted that, based on the estimated number of STRs in the township, the fees generated would be enough to finance up to three full-time employees.

Among the suggestions made to reduce burdens and “keep it simple”, were to have property owners self-certify compliance. Township Manager Robert Bartal noted that if they went with self-certification, they should include provisions permitting the township to inspect a property in the event of a complaint or as a random spot-check, in order to encourage compliance.

Several owners of STRs in the township encouraged the supervisors to move forward with some kind of permitting, since currently STRs are technically not allowed in the township. Bruce Freeman has a home in Pocono Pines which he rents. He represents the Lake Naomi Vacation Home Alliance, which he said has about 100 property owners. “Many of us want to retire (to our STRs)”, he told the supervisors. “Our main concern here is to get this approved and licensed as soon as possible.

Ricky Cortez noted that the Poconos “was built on” STRs, with the county taking in $18 million in hotel taxes, and at least “$1.8 million of that coming from Tobyhanna Township alone.”

The supervisors intend to take the matter up at their next worksession.

The supervisors also held a hearing on the request of Ahart’s Market to transfer a liquor license belonging to Velma’s on Sand Spring Road in Barrett Township, to their Blakeslee store for the sale of beer and wine. Following the hearing the supervisors unanimously granted the request.

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