New Coplay mayor takes oath of office
Coplay Borough Mayor Stephen J. Burker was administered the oath of office Jan. 3 by Magisterial District Judge Todd Heffelfinger.
Burker, a Democrat, placed his left hand on a Bible held by his wife, Carol, and pledged to defend, protect and obey both the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Family and friends were in attendance to witness the swearing-in ceremony.
A two-term member of Coplay Borough Council, Burker distinguished himself as an active, visible council member by leading the borough’s park and recreation committee. He also is a co-chair of the successful Coplay Community Days committee.
Under Burker’s leadership, the Community Days event generated thousands of dollars for numerous projects to better Coplay during the last 10 years.
Burker reportedly had the most visible presence of any council member. He often filled in to represent Coplay at numerous meetings when the former Coplay mayor was not available.
The musical summer series events at the borough’s Community Plaza and other events were organized by Burker. Ever humble, Burker noted these successes were because of a team, not him.
When Burker learned there was no mayoral candidate in the May 2021 primary election, he worked with several supporters to develop a write-in campaign.
In earlier discussions, Burker noted he wants to be a mayor for all the people of Coplay as the highest elected official in the borough. He will assume day-to-day operations of the Coplay Police Department and plans to be active serving the people in any way he can.
Just after being sworn in as the new mayor of Coplay, Burker completed his first duty - he administered the oath of office of inspector of election to a former Coplay mayor, Bill Leiner Jr.
As another one of his first duties as mayor, Burker administered the oath of office to re-elected council President Louis Bodish, council Vice President Charles Sodl and Councilman Carl Luckenbach at the Jan. 3 reorganization meeting.
Two individuals have written letters to borough council asking for their consideration for the vacant council seat - a two-year appointment. Allen Himmelwright, a truck driver and graduate of the Citadel, is a registered Democrat and has lived in the borough for 30 years. Michael Dreisbach, who has worked at Air Products for 37 years, is a registered Democrat living in the borough for six years. Dreisbach has also been serving on the borough planning commission.
Borough council interviewed both candidates and was expected to hold a vote at the Jan. 11 meeting to select the new council member.