Holding a local elected office usually means lots of meetings, lots of volunteer time, and not always a lot of thanks.
Jim, a PPL Electric Utilities distribution technician by day, is on his second term on Northumberland borough council. He’s lived in the borough for most of his life, except for a break of about 10 years after college.
As a borough councilor, he’s one of seven officials who make decisions on Northumberland’s budget, operations and major projects.
It’s not his first leadership role in town: He volunteered with the borough’s fire department for many years, including a stint as chief. While attending council meetings as fire chief, he decided he wanted to play a larger part in local government. So he ran for council and won a seat.
“I saw some things that were being done, and I thought there were better ways the community could be spending its money to benefit its residents,” he says.
Since then, he’s spent a lot of time going to committee meetings and keeping track of municipal developments – everything from sewer installations to playground upgrades.
“It can be frustrating, but it’s rewarding when you start a project and it comes to fruition, and you can see people enjoying it,” he says, citing playground and community pool projects as examples.
Jim says he hopes to land a third term on council because he’d like to see other projects completed. For instance, he’d like to see the borough install docks and picnic tables at a park facing the Susquehanna River.
If there’s any downside to his tenure on borough council, it’s that he no longer has time to serve on the fire department. Troup’s father and uncles were also volunteer firefighters, and he joined the department at age 18.
“When I got on borough council, I tried to keep everything going, but I had to give that up,” he said.
Stay tuned to PPL Stories for more stories of PPL Electric Utilities employees’ service to their communities.