Commissioner Lopez, Undeterred by Virus, Attends Virtual Meeting

Shown in a portion of a screenshot from Thursday’s Zoom meeting are, at top from left by row, Lower Pottsgrove Township Secretary Katie Vlahos, Finance Director Michelle Christman, Commissioner Michael McGroarty, board President Bruce Foltz, Manager Ed Wagner, Solicitor Charles Garner, attorney Liz Preate Havey, and Commissioners Ray Lopez and Robert Mohollen

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Lower Pottsgrove Township Commissioner and Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Lopez demonstrated Thursday night (Dec. 17, 2020) he is strong enough to face any challenge, including that posed by the coronavirus.

Lopez has tested positive for COVID-19, commissioners acknowledged toward the end of their virtual meeting Thursday night … one which Lopez himself attended on camera. He sat upright in a bed, dressed in a hospital gown, and smiled at and talked with his four elected colleagues, just as he does during any board gathering.

“There he is!,” someone said excitedly, as the commissioner’s face popped into a rectangle on the board’s Zoom screen (at top) minutes before the 7 p.m. online session began. “We knew you’d make it,” board President Bruce Foltz proclaimed.

The meeting itself went quickly; the board’s work – passage of a no-tax-increase 2021 budget, approval to sell municipal bonds for capital projects including construction of a township campus (Lopez voted for both), and other items – were finished in about a half-hour.

Then came time for commissioners’ comments, and all involved – Foltz, Bob Mohollen, Michael McGroarty, and Earl Swavely – offered words of praise, encouragement, and wonder that Lopez was undeterred from participating.

Lopez thanked them in turn, and said he was pleased by the support the board and township employees had shown since he was hospitalized earlier this week. Their text messages, e-mails and cards “brought sunshine to my day every day,” he said, becoming emotional but never losing composure.

He said he also learned volunteers visited his house to clean up after Wednesday’s storm, and pledged any and all assistance to his family. He was grateful, Lopez added, for such kindness.

“Our prayers are out there for you, Ray!”, Foltz said. Lopez smiled again, waived at the video camera with his right hand, and the meeting ended.

Photo by The Post