Easton's police and fire departments each have two new members, who were sworn in at Wednesday night's city council meeting.
John Piersa and Brett Bindicks are joining the police force. Mayor Sal Panto administered their oaths as Easton Police Chief Larry Palmer and family and friends looked on.
The Easton Fire Department gained two new members as well. Jason Hartpence, 26, of Stockertown, and Andrew Wuttke, 32, of Tamaqua, were sworn in by Panto, supported by Fire Chief John Bast and senior fire command staff.
Both new members are graduates of the Allentown Fire Academy, according to a press release issued by the fire department.
Also Wednesday,Easton City Council recognized several retiring long-time city employees with Certificates of Appreciation for their years of service to the community. Present to receive the awards were Melissa Corrado, Joseph Handlovic and Carmella Howey. Also recognized were Anthony Castonova, Doris Mendisana, Laurel Rowe, John Myers and John Walter.
Council members expressed their appreciation for their dedication.
“All of you have done fantastic work for the city, and you all will be missed,” said Councilman Michael Fleck.
“Thank you for your service...I wish I was you, being retired,” quipped Councilman Ken Brown.
“One of the things I was thinking about was how many years cumulatively were in that stack (of Certificates of Appreciation). It's got to be well over a century,” Councilman Roger Ruggles noted.
So many long-time employees retiring at once will take some adjusting too, said Panto.
“It's unusual for us to have eight retirements at the same time. I can tell you there will be a gap,” he said. “The gap will be large and will take some time to fill.”