• The Boro

Winds of Change Set to Shift at Tonight's Mount Pocono Borough Council Meeting

MOUNT POCONO (MAR 4 2021) - The Boro has learned that a majority of the Mount Pocono Borough Council is apparently set to make a change in council officers this evening.

We have spoken with several board members, as well as others directly involved in the conversations, all of whom were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive matters. We have also reviewed correspondence among some council which was provided to us.

In what would be the third change in as many months, at least four members of the council are reportedly backing a move apparently instituted by the mayor to replace Claudette Williams as president of the council. Based on our discussions five members seem to support a change. Some council members, and the mayor, have variously accused both the mayor and Williams of overstepping their authority and making poor decisions; some council members believe both are guilty. Previously, the council removed Fran O'Boyle, with Williams objecting, as vice-president. The following meeting, at Williams' urging, O'Boyle was returned to the veep slot. (UPDATED 3/4/21 11:36 am - For clarification, there appear to be at least four votes to remove Williams, and a fifth council member who would like to see a change in the way the borough operates but who apparently has not committed to vote with the other four. The four votes, if they happen, are sufficient to effect a change.) Tonight's meeting was originally scheduled for this past Monday, on Zoom, in accordance with notices previously posted in the Borough Building, online, and through official email channels. But we learned that the mayor countermanded the posting of the meeting information on the borough's official website by instructing the webmaster not to post information sent to him for posting. The mayor's unilateral move upset Williams. In the view of Williams, supported by the Borough Code, the mayor lacks authority or say on council meeting procedures. Williams said it was another example of the mayor overstepping his authority and trying to "take control of the borough". Following the back and forth over the meeting, which included emails between the mayor and Williams, an apparently exasperated borough solicitor recommended rescheduling the Monday meeting. The mayor and council member Tom Neville solicited council support to dump Williams, who is in her third year as council president. They planned the action for Monday and were among those supporting the mayor's move not to have an online meeting. This is a developing story and we will be updating it with additional information we have gathered and are still receiving from all sides of the council on this latest contretemps. Channel 570 will be livestreaming the meeting on its Facebook page.

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