|J.C. Peckham fills vacant council seat|
|Written by Chris Lee|
J.C. Peckham emerged as the newest member of Holyoke City Council after a June 16 council vote.
The seat has been vacant since Sara Bohrer announced her resignation May 19. Bohrer and her husband moved to Alamosa June 1 after he accepted a position as the BOCES director.
Peckham was one of six people up for the position. The others were Nathan Coyne, Dan Denbo, Brian Akey, Gilbert Konecne and Kathryn Jacoby.
After council members were through voting, it came down to a tie between Peckham and Konecne. To break the tie, council members put the two names into a hat and Mayor David Nygaard drew the winner.
Born in Yuma and moving to Holyoke at the age of 5, Peckham has close ties to the area. He has been employed by PC Telcom as the lead cable technician since 2005.
He began at Charter Communications before working for the City of Holyoke. When PC Telcom purchased the cable system he went to work for them.
He received a degree in telecommunications from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.
Peckham has always had an interest in the government, so joining the board as a councilman is something he is looking forward to. His minor in college was government, and his mother (Connie) served on the board in the past. Both were factors in his decision to get involved.
Giving everyone a voice and making sure everyone is heard is something Peckham wants to see.
“I’m always out in the public and I’m always listening to what people have to say,” Peckham said.
Anytime someone has an issue they would like to talk about, Peckham said he is willing to listen.
Peckham spent eight years in the Marine Corps. He then came home and married his wife, Natalie. Peckham has three children, Bradley Coyne, Alison Coyne and Victoria Erickson.
City Supt. Mark Brown said the city plans to begin applying seal coat to streets in town on June 29-30. July 1 will act as a rain day.
Also in his report, the concrete footings for the new city building had been set. He also mentioned a new fuel tank was set to be installed at the airport this week.
During the Police Chief report, Sergeant Doug Bergstrom, filling in for Police Chief Phil Biersdorfer, mentioned concerns regarding code enforcement.
Problems with television antennas and sidewalks were the two topics Bergstrom brought to the council’s attention.
Places where tree roots have passed underneath sidewalks and either raised or cracked them is the main issue at hand.
The question of whether to allow Code Enforcement Officer Dawn Archibeque to pursue these problems was raised.
The board agreed to allow Archibeque to pursue incidents where safety becomes an issue but questioned her job load.
Archibeque mentioned expanding items needing her attention would mean she will require more hours.
“I’m at the max,” Archibeque said.
The board mentioned once certain ordinances are taken care of around town it will free up Archibeque to pursue other problems.
But it was then discussed the turnover rate of people moving into town will never allow for the problems to completely go away. Archibeque agreed.
In other business June 16, council members:
—accepted Marc Schlachter’s $5,000 bid for the city’s used trencher. Others entering bids were Lee Struckmeyer and Matt Newman.
—set Josh Conde’s wages at $7.85 per hour. Conde was hired to fill the gap left by Daniel Koch. Along with his wage, council members approved the wages for five lifeguards at $7.28 per hour.
—approved the liquor license renewal for Lucky’s Liquor.
—approved the golf course lease.
—agreed to help the Chamber of Commerce pick up and deliver tables for the Chamber Consumer Producer Appreciation Day.
—approved on the 4th of July, open swimming from 1-3 p.m. on July 4.
—approved a $1,000 donation to Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department for the fireworks display.