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Perkasie residents upset with police

By Kris Rile, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Sep 11 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 12 2012 06:03:11 AM CDT

On Tuesday evening three Perkasie Councilmen sat in front of 20 borough residents ready to listen to any and all concerns they had to present.

PERKASIE, Pa. -

Residents in Perkasie, Bucks Co., were given a chance to be heard by their Borough Council and they jumped at the chance.

On Tuesday evening three Perkasie councilmen sat in front of 20 borough residents ready to listen to any and all concerns they had to present.

During the public forum portion of a typical Borough Council meeting, residents are given a limited time, usually two or three minutes to present their concerns to the Council, according to Assistant Borough Manager Andrea Coaxum.

Sometimes they would get a solution and sometimes Council would have to move onto the next subject, with no real resolution for the borough residents.

The system frustrated Jim Ryder so he ran for Council, won and is now holding Town Hall meetings to allow for better conversations between Council and residents.

Along with Ryder, two other Borough Council members sit on the Special Constituent Outreach Committee.  They are Justin Stottlar and Steven Pizzollo.

Several issues were brought up during the meeting, but it started off with the biggest issues throughout the Borough - the police department.

Ryder read a statement from the Borough Council saying that Council Members were not allowed to comment on the investigation surrounding the recent death of Perkasie resident Michael Marino Jr. Marino was shot and killed during an alleged altercation with police officers in Sellersville on June 9.

Despite the statement, residents proceeded to question the three members regarding the incident.

“We have been told in a strong manner not to discuss this,” commented Pizzollo.

The residents continued to request that the Borough bring in an independent third party to investigate the incident, which is currently being investigated by the Perkasie Police Chief Joseph Gura. Ryder, Pizzollo, and Stottlar encouraged residents to bring this request to the Borough Council for their consideration.

“I am asking for your patience [regarding this matter], this is a difficult time for everyone,” said Perkasie Mayor John Hollenbach. “There are things going on and that is all I’m allowed to say."

Other issues brought up during the meeting included the replacement of street lights, the proposed relocation of the skate park, and the crippling electric rates established through the Borough.

The next regular Borough Council meeting is scheduled for September 17.