Brookville Council Welcomes New Police Chief, Talks Laurel Festival

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Tuesday’s Brookville Borough Council meeting turned out to be uncommonly spirited as it welcomed a new police chief, heard about the progress of the new Laurel Festival, and debated on how many meetings should be held each month.

Council welcomed new chief Vince Markle – a 20-year veteran of the Brookville force – and then voted to hire three part-time officers after a 30-minute executive session.

Mayor Richard Beck swore in Markle.

“I want to thank Council for putting me in this position and to Mayor Beck for helping me get ready for this position,” Markle said.

Beck was Markle’s training officer when he joined the force in 1998. Markle is also nearing 25 years in law enforcement, having worked in Summerville from 1994-98.

Borough resident Dick Boozer, pictured below, is the president of the Brookville Laurel Festival and he addressed council about planning for the event that will be held in June.

“We had some concerns about having enough electric outlets, but know we have what we need for the food vendors,” Boozer said. “We also need to order new banners and flags because the old ones read ‘Western Pa. Laurel Festival’. And we’re working to see where we can place them.”

Boozer said the Laurel Festival Pageant will be held June 9 and the festival will begin June 16.

“We’ve sent out fundraising letters and we’ve already secured significant donors in Clarion ABATE and the Brookville Eagles Club,” Boozer said. “We’ve heard some negative comments, but we’re just letting them roll off our backs.

“I guarantee it’ll be an event Brookville will be proud of,” Boozer said.

Council president Phil Hynes said he was happy to hear the committee was getting an early start on the event.

Council member Randy Bartley, also a member of the Laurel Festival committee, said everyone would be amazed at the Laurel Festival.

“We’ve got a bunch of Energizer bunnies involved. The only thing that could hold is back is the weather,” Bartley said.

Hynes then brought up the possibility of holding just one regular meeting a month to vote on items and another where committees would meet that wouldn’t typically be voting meetings.

“Our committees meet kind of haphazardly and we are also in violation of the Sunshine Law for not advertising all our meetings, but to advertise both would cost more money, too,” Hynes said.

After a fair amount of discussion, council voted to table the proposal until more thought and research could be put into it.

Council is scheduled to meet again at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6.

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