Jenkintown Borough Council welcomed several presentations from members of the community during its July 24 meeting.

Michael S. Pepperman, Chair of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP’s Labor Relations and Employment Law Department, spoke to council about legal representation for an upcoming negotiation between the police department and the borough.

“My approach is to have a win-win negotiation,” Pepperman said. “We have to make economic sense. The police are obviously important, and they’ve put a few things on the table. I’d like to take a collaborative approach, because should a mediator become involved, you don’t know which direction things are going to go.”

Pepperman has been practicing labor negotiations for the better part of 23 years, noting that he has been able to provide a significant municipal discount for the borough.

“We feel that there’s a good relationship here, and we want to maintain that relationship going forward,” he said. “We would be honored to represent the borough in this fashion.”

In other business, John Stelmachowicz, a partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, delivered a briefing on behalf of the upcoming decennial census.

According to Stelmachowicz, the Census Bureau will be hiring approximately 2,000 workers from the immediate area to fill temporary positions.

“It’s important to count absolutely everyone. The census allows for annual federal funding. 675 billion federal dollars will be appropriated to state and local governments, money which provides for public serves and determines the state’s number of representatives,” he said.

The specialist pointed out that the 2020 census marks the first time the government will ask Americans to respond via an online response option.

“We’re nine months away,” Stelmachowicz said. “We’ve been working with the Montgomery County Planning Commission to explore what’s to come and what’s new.”

In other matters, Council honored Seth Pokrifka on behalf of his recent promotion to the rank of Eagle Scout. Pokrifka’s final project saw the construction of steps through a trail at Alverthorpe Park.

“I wanted a project that was challenging and substantial,” the Abington Friends School senior student said. “It worked out well. It was a fun project. We were told that people were often tripping on the trail, so they asked me to build some steps.”

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