Taiba Sultana

Taiba Sultana, surrounded by her family, takes the oath of office as Easton City Council's newest member.

EASTON, Pa. – Sandra Vulcano ended her 20-year run on Easton City Council Monday night, passing her seat to Taiba Sultana, who beat Vulcano in May's Democratic primary.

Sultana, council's newest member, came to Pennsylvania from Pakistan in 2003 and pointed out that she represents several firsts for the city.

"You have elected the first woman of color to serve on the council, the first Muslim, the first Asian and the first-generation immigrant," she said, noting that voters "looked past outward appearances and cultural and religious differences, and voted for a person."

"I must thank you, city of Easton," Sultana said. "You have given us a home, an opportunity, and have become my extended family."

She added, "We have proven that history is not just the events of the past. It is current, it is present, and it is evolving."

Sultana also said Easton has come a long way but still needs a lot of work, especially in areas such as affordable housing and income inequality. She expressed that she was looking forward to "address and fix what is lacking … and build on what is working."

As Vulcano's time on the board came to an end, her colleagues on council praised her for her years of service as well as her mentorship of other public servants.

Councilman Peter Melan said that when he was first elected six years ago, he had a lot of questions.

"There's no lesson plan on how to be a councilperson," he said, "so I called Sandy up."

The 68-year-old Vulcano is a lifelong Easton resident. She was first elected to the Easton Area School Board in 1999, and two years later was elected to council, where she served five consecutive terms.

Mayor Sal Panto said that in addition to her work on the council, Vulcano has been involved with numerous boards and commissions over the years, which he described as "where the real work of the city gets done."

Vulcano will serve on the city's Redevelopment Authority, as well as remaining active on several boards and community organizations.

"I'm not going anywhere," she said. "I still live here."

Two incumbent councilmen — Roger Ruggles and James Edinger — were also sworn in Monday night. Edinger was sworn in via Zoom, as he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was isolating at home.

Councilman Ken Brown was elected vice mayor by a 4-3 vote.

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