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Jane Varcoe: hard work and dedication

Jane Varcoe is pictured on August 29, as the Wayne County Commissioners, Wendell Kay, left, Brian Smith and Jonathan Fritz, honored her long public service.
TRR photo by David Hulse

By David Hulse
September 4, 2013

It was Wayne County Commissioners’ Chair Brian Smith’s “extreme pleasure,” on August 29 to honor one of the county’s most active public servants and volunteers, Jane Varcoe. “The people of the county,” he said, “want to recognize you for all the hard work and dedication.”

The commissioners’ recognition was the latest of Varcoe’s honors. This spring, long-time Waymart Borough Council Member Varcoe was named by the PA Borough Councils Association as Outstanding Borough Council Member of the Year in Eastern Pennsylvania for 2013. That honor was followed by the association’s President’s Award for 40 Years of Service.

She joked about the clutter of numerous awards and honors she has at home. She said that should something happen to her, she’s given instructions to the family to “take them all out in the backyard and burn them.”

Varcoe has been, and remains, active in many local and county-wide service and cultural organizations in Wayne, but she seemed especially proud of her government service at the borough. “I was the first woman that ran (for elected office) and I was told no woman would ever be elected.”

While she said she has seen many changes in government over the years, Varcoe said she would still “like to see more women involved.”

Commissioner Jonathan Fritz said he was very thankful for the opportunity to take pause and count his blessings—and “those blessings sometimes are in the form of a human being.”

“I’m the only commissioner who is a former borough council member,” said Wendell Kay; “so I have a little insight. I only did it for four years, and it amazes me—that kind of commitment. I wish you many more years of service.”

Perhaps considering that, Varcoe said she was “going for 50 years,” and another plaque for the collection.

In other business last Thursday, the commissioners approved and County Recycling Coordinator Mary Van Patten detailed a new tire recycling program beginning on September 9. The center’s recycling vendor, MMM Waste Removal, will accept tires of up to 24 inches for $3, tires on rims for $5, and tractor tires for $10.

The commissioners separately approved a $48,780 contract bid for an update of the county’s hazard mitigation plan, to be done by Cocciardi and Associates.

Jackie Young, the county’s community block grant coordinator, reported that after checking eligibility of awards for this year’s local grants, $10,546 remain to be awarded by the commissioners.

The commissioners took no action after opening three bids for the re-bidding of a courthouse elevator project, finding an apparent low basic bid of $359,066.