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McCoy still serving Irvona after 20 years
Saturday, February 23, 2013
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
IRVONA - Margaret "Peg" McCoy has been on Irvona Borough Council for so long, she can't remember the year she was appointed to a vacant seat, but she does know it's been more than 20 years since she attended her first meeting as a member of the group.
This year marks the 15th consecutive year she has served as council president, a position she doesn't mind, but hates the fact that sometimes she has to deal with things she doesn't like. "But it's part of the job I'm elected to do," she said.
She was referring to a time when she had to tell someone they were not being reappointed to a seat they applied for because someone else had requested the position and was getting it.
McCoy said she has no regrets having served on council for so many years, and she said she would stay on the board as long as she keeps getting re-elected.
"I've had good members to work with through these years," she said.
McCoy said she is proud of the people who approached the borough several years ago to create a park committee.
"They have done a lot of great work at the park," she said. "I'm really proud of what they've done and are doing. And what's really nice is, the park is something the whole community can use and enjoy."
Eventually, the park committee merged with the ball teams and has since become the Irvona Recreation Authority.
McCoy is also pleased with the fact the borough has just purchased a brand new borough truck, and didn't have to raise taxes.
While she's been a dedicated council member, McCoy has faced tragedy while on the board.
On Sept. 1, 2005, McCoy was at a council meeting, chairing it like she had been doing in the past.
As the meeting was ending and everyone was leaving, McCoy was met by two of her sons.
They were there to get her and advised her that her husband, George, had been in an accident on his motorcycle. Someone had turned in front of him and he was in bad condition. He was flown by medical helicopter to Altoona Regional Trauma Center.
McCoy said when she and her family got to the hospital, George was talking to them, letting them know what had happened with the accident.
The next morning, he died from those injuries.
"It was tough," McCoy said. "It took me three years to finally accept what had happened."
The couple was married for 45 years and they have three sons. She never missed a beat though; she was at the council meetings on a monthly basis, doing what she had to do to help run the borough of just under 700 people.
Volunteering her time with the borough isn't all she does. She also volunteers with the Beccaria-Coalport-Irvona Municipal Authority, a position she has held since 1997.
McCoy said she was raised in the churches and was actually the first member of her family to go to church. She said when she was 6 years old, two neighbor girls went to her home and invited her to go to church, so she went with them. Then the pastor and his wife went to her home, talked with her family and they started to go as well.
She will be leading the ladies group at the newly formed Rock of Freedom Fellowship Church in Irvona.
While McCoy doesn't attend the church across the street from her home, she does help when the ladies are there making candy. She said if they need the help, and she's able, she's more than happy to help.
"Irvona has a total of six churches," McCoy said. "And no barrooms."
McCoy appreciates Mayor John "PJ" Patterson and what he does as well.
"He keeps an eye on what's happening in town," she said. "He makes my job a lot easier."
Patterson said he appreciates McCoy.
"I've worked with Peggy on the borough for many years," he said. "I believe she's a great person, a great president and has served at borough very well."
McCoy said Irvona is a good, quiet little town.
"It's not really a noisy, rowdy town," she said. "Except for barking dogs but that's usually only when one dog is loose or there are strangers around, which is sometimes a good warning."
Joanne McGarvey has worked as the borough secretary/treasurer for several years as well.
"I have had the privilege of working with Peggy for over 15 years," she said. "I admire the job she has performed as president of the Irvona Borough Council. She is very fair in carrying out her duties as president and always performs with grace and dignity."
McGarvey went on to say she admires her testimony as a Christian woman and her ability to overcome hard times in her personal life.
"Besides being my boss for these many years, I am privileged to call her a friend as well," McGarvey said.
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