Former council members appointed in Canonsburg

January 7, 2014

Canonsburg Borough’s council dropped from nine members to seven in the New Year. During a reorganization meeting Monday night, two vacancies on the board were filled by appointments, but only after Mayor David Rhome cast the tie-breaking vote.

Council members Fran Coleman and Joseph McGarry voted to reappoint former council members John Bevec and Rich Russo, while Tim Bilsky and Paul Sharkady voted to appoint two new members, Frank Tatano and George Coleman.

Following borough code, Rhome then submitted his vote, which was to reappoint Bevec and Russo. Bevec accepted at the meeting, and Russo’s appointment hinged on his acceptance of the position. Council also voted to reappoint Bevec as president, and the vice president has not yet been determined.

Council members Bevec, Russo, Peter Lucas, Patricia Romano and Joseph Graff Sr. completed their terms in December and did not seek re-election. Four seats were up for election in November.

One of the terms was filled by John Severine, who won the general election for both the two-year and four-year terms in the 1st Ward. Severine chose to hold the four-year term. Bevec was appointed to the two-year term.

Sharkady, who won elections for both the 3rd Ward and at-large positions, chose to hold the 3rd Ward seat. Russo was tentatively appointed to fill the at-large seat.

Severine was unable to be sworn in Monday because he did not have his affidavit of residency completed.

“Unfortunately, when we went through the process, it was determined that (Severine) didn’t have his paperwork in order, and I, as the mayor, asked the solicitor to rule on that, and he advised me that I couldn’t swear him into office,” Rhome said.

Severine will likely be sworn in next week. Council meetings will continue to be held the first and second Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

Emily Petsko joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in June 2013. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor's degree in journalism and global cultural studies.

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