EASTON — The Easton Town Council, during a recent meeting, appointed Councilman Ron Engle acting president of the council, to substitute for Council President John Ford, who has been hospitalized since mid-November.
Engle, who has served as a council member for Ward 2 since May 2015, said he’s honored to step in for Ford. He said he and the other council members will “try to keep everything running as efficiently as we can without missing a beat.”
While Engle said he doesn’t know how long he will act as council president, he assured Ford would be back as soon as possible, though his recovery “won’t be overnight.”
“He had a pretty serious stroke, but I am fully confident that he will come back,” he said. “(Ford) really likes the job. He’s been doing it for as long as I’ve been here, and he does it well.”
Engle said he has become much busier as he’s balancing his temporary duties with the responsibilities he already had as a council member. But he said he’s hoping “people won’t notice that someone else is doing the job while (Ford) is out.”
“My job is to keep the train on the tracks and on time. Can we do that? I hope so,” he said. “I plan to keep up the good work John’s been doing, to the best of my ability.”
Engle said he recently sent Ford a card letting him know he’s assuming his role while he’s out, but he hasn’t heard anything from Ford directly regarding the new developments.
In a nod to the council members’ diversity in views, Engle said he and Ford don’t exactly view the world the same. “We have different opinions,” he said.
“With our current council, everybody comes from a different background, so we view the world differently,” Engle said. “But at the end of the day, we always come up with a consensus that everybody feels like they walked away with something, and that has been the case since I started with the council.”
Engle said the council voted him as the acting president because he volunteered to do it and “most of the (members) felt that it was better to have one person acting the entire time than changing somebody every meeting.”
He said he was “perfectly happy” to accept their decision because he enjoys his job and “this just gives me another thing to do, and that’s fine with me.”
In the near future, Engle said his new role will involve meeting more often with Easton Mayor Robert Willey and Town Manager Donald Richardson to ensure everything runs as smoothly as it ran under Ford.
“John’s a very, very competent council president, and I plan to (act as president) as close to his level of confidence as I can,” he said.