Cheltenham Township has selected its first African American as president of its Board of Commissioners.
Arthur Haywood, who most recently served as the commission’s vice president, was unanimously elected to this position at the organization meeting at Curtis Hall last week.
Among those present to applaud Haywood’s appointment were Cheltenham NAACP president Harvey Crudup and LaMott A.M.E. Church pastor the Rev. Keith Hayward.
Haywood was nominated for the position by Commissioner Harvey Portner, who just completed a one-year term as president. Portner will now serve as the commission’s vice president.
In his nomination remarks Portner said “there is no question in my mind” that Haywood would make an excellent president. After the vote was taken, Haywood immediately took his seat in the president’s chair and moderated the rest of the meeting.
“I felt it was important to come out, even though I’m a bit under the weather, because history is being made at this meeting,” Crudup said.
The Cheltenham NAACP president noted his organization will continue the historical theme as they present their King holiday program.
“This is an important day for Montgomery County,” Hayward said. “I think it is something to celebrate.”
The only other African-American on the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners is Kathy Hampton.
The Cheltenham organization meeting opened with the pledge of allegiance.
The election certificates were read by David G. Kraynik, Township Manager and Township Secretary. Then, Charles D. McKeown, Daniel B. Norris, Portner and J. Andrew Sharkey were sworn for a two-year term.
Oaths were administered by Montgomery County Common Please Judge Tornetta Carluccio, Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth A. McHugh, and Magisterial District Judge Christopher Cerski.
During the meeting two resolutions were passed.
First, the board authorized the acquisition of a premium bond to equate to 50 percent of the township’s tax duplicate. Second, another resolution authorized the acquisition of a $1 million bond. Both were passed unanimously.
There was also adoption of resolutions for various other Cheltenham Township positions ranging from the township solicitor to the director of Fiscal Affair’s Board.
Stephen G. Burns was appointed by the Board of Commissioners as township controller and Sherrie Jakeman was appointed as acting controller.
Bryan T. Havir was appointed as acting township manager before Haywood adjourned the meeting.