Shawn Billy didn’t come to last night’s Emmaus Borough Council meeting with a mission, but he left with one.
The 16-year-old Emmaus resident attended the meeting with the rest of Boy Scout Troop 80 to fulfill a requirement of the Boy Scout citizenship merit badge. All the boys had to do to meet the requirement was to sit through a government meeting.
Billy, however, was moved to get up and address Emmaus Mayor Winfield Iobst and council in the latter half of the meeting, when the public is invited to address council for a second time.
Billy’s question for council: “Why is trick-or-treat night always on Thursday night instead of Friday or Saturday like other areas?”
Earlier in the meeting Iobst read Proclamation 2011-298 declaring Thursday, Oct. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. trick-or-treat night in Emmaus. In response to Billy’s question the mayor said that in his 14 years as mayor there had been about three people who had asked to trick-or-treat on a different day.
“I’m an old Dutchman,” Iobst said. “We don’t like to change things.” He added that trick-or-treat night in Emmaus had been on a Thursday night for pretty much as long as anyone could remember.
Several council members echoed this sentiment, saying that there are lots of theories on why the annual candy-collecting holiday is celebrated on Thursday in the borough, but no one knows for sure.
Billy pressed on: “So there is not a specific answer, it’s is just ‘that’s how it is?’”
Councilman Brent Labenberg, who said he has lived in the borough his whole life, attempted to offer Billy a more concrete answer. He said that he always thought that trick-or-treat wasn’t scheduled on Fridays because that would interfere with football.
After the meeting, Billy, who attends Central Catholic High School, said that he is taking several Advanced Placement classes this year and trick-or-treating on Thursday night will interfere with his ability to do his homework.
“I would like to not be stressed,” he said. “I would like to go trick-or-treating, but I would like to get my homework done instead of rushing.”
Billy said that he wasn’t entirely satisfied with the answer he got from the mayor and council, calling it “indecisive, not really a definitive answer.
“I think I might try to start a petition,” Billy said.