Laflin appoints new mayor and she doesn’t want police regionalization

By Kulsoom Khan - [email protected] | January 2nd, 2018 9:54 pm - updated: 10:06 pm.

LAFLIN — Maureen Zavislak was appointed unanimously by council as the borough’s new mayor Tuesday night, just days after the seat came open.

Former Mayor Dorothy Yazurlo resigned Sunday, citing her frustration with the opposition to her plan for regional police. That plan — now seemingly dead — would have had Laflin pay Jenkins Township for police coverage.

Yazurlo said most council members want to continue to rely on State Police. That’s been the arrangement since the borough disbanded its own force in 2014.

The new mayor is against paying the nearby township for police protection.

“I just think that spending $65,000 to $69,000 with Jenkins, or going into the regionalization, it would have cost $179,000 to $215,000,” said Zavislak. “It really isn’t worth it when we’re using our tax dollars for two calls a month, or whatever the case may be.”

Zavislak, 43, has resided in Laflin most of her life. Even though this is her first time serving as a public official, she has been involved in the community with volunteer work. She said she’s very excited about her new role. Zavislak also has new ideas for programs for children and teenagers in an effort to keep them out of trouble.

“It will bring some new life to Laflin,” she said.

Zavislak’s husband is the head of Laflin’s neighborhood watch group and both of them teach self-defense classes for women — something she hopes to continue in the future. “I want to give back to society,” she said.

In a related move, Thomas Parry was appointed to fill a vacant council seat after former Councilwoman Sandra Falcone also resigned in the past week.

Meanwhile, newly elected Councilmen Paul Benderavich and Anthony D’Eliseo were sworn in along with Councilman Carl Yastremski, who was re-elected for another term.

In other business Tuesday:

• Benderavich was elected as council president, and D’Eliseo as vice president.

• Council voted to repeal a regional police ordinance involving Jenkins Township. It also authorized a letter to officially close the Laflin Borough Police Department Facebook page.

• Matthew D’Elia will serve as a junior council member.

• Council will hold regular monthly meetings the second Tuesday of each month and work sessions as needed prior to the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. with the exception of the Jan. 23 regular council meeting.

*Brian Sheehan of FOX 56 News contributed to this report.

Newly appointed Laflin mayor Maureen Zavislak, left, listens to borough council during its reorganizational meeting at the borough building on Tuesday night.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL010318Laflin_1-2.jpgNewly appointed Laflin mayor Maureen Zavislak, left, listens to borough council during its reorganizational meeting at the borough building on Tuesday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Maureen Zavislak is congratulated by Luzerne County Judge David Lupas after being sworn in as mayor of Laflin during the borough’s reorganizational meeting Tuesday night.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL010318Laflin_2-2.jpgMaureen Zavislak is congratulated by Luzerne County Judge David Lupas after being sworn in as mayor of Laflin during the borough’s reorganizational meeting Tuesday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Kulsoom Khan

[email protected]

Brian Sheehan of FOX 56 News contributed to this report.


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