COALPORT — Coalport Borough Council accepted the resignation of a council member at Monday’s meeting.
In a lengthy letter to council dated July 11, Paul Zupich told council his withdrawal from the seat is effective immediately.
“There is just too much that is wrong here. There is potential liability and there is reputational risk. I took this job knowing the bookkeeping was bad, the borough was mismanaged and council was shady, incompetent and detached. Many residents have known this for decades. We see streets reverting to dirt, blighted buildings and now a borough on the brink of financial ruin,” he wrote in a letter to council.
In his letter, Zupich listed seven reasons why he believes the borough is in distress and elaborated on ways council should have acted that could have improved the situation.
He cited its financial issues can be attributed to numerous financial accounts, council serving as the borough’s manager rather than appointing a third party to oversee day-to-day operations, funds that were targeted for projects that were not completed, a lack of concise information in past budgets, incomplete and substandard bookkeeping and no sensible record keeping.
“Much has been addressed. However, council has returned to the failed policies and procedures of the past — the very policies that got the borough into this mess,” he noted. He suggested council rework its agenda to include financial reports that follow the borough’s budget item for line item and that are clear, simple and usable. “Due to its importance, the finance report should be the first item on the agenda, not the last,” Zupich said.
Zupich also encouraged council to review the borough’s most recent audit report and apply its recommendations. He also stated he believes there are councilors who are there to promote their own self-interests and who do not have the expertise needed to deal with the borough’s pending issues.
He signed his letter, “Regrettably.”
Although council did not read Zupich’s letter during the meeting, it did provide a copy of the document to The Progress.
The vote to accept Zupich’s resignation was 3-1. The Rev. Gerald Spaid voted no, stating he regretted the loss of Zupich. Council members Adam, Calvin Glass and Kevin Swauger approved. Barby Trent attended the meeting but did not vote because she is currently acting as interim mayor.
Adam said the position would be advertised and a special council meeting may be scheduled to fill the vacancy.
Adam also asked Secretary Noelle Trent to send a letter to Zupich noting his resignation was accepted and thanking him for the time he spent on council.