Deadline looms for North Strabane supervisor appointments

A decision on the board vacancies must be made soon

January 22, 2014

Time is running out for North Strabane officials to appoint two supervisors to fill vacancies on the board.

The three sitting supervisors, Robert Balogh, Sonia Stopperich and Brian Spicer, declined to make an appointment during Tuesday night’s agenda meeting and it was not know if they would be able to unanimously settle on two candidates at next week’s voting meeting.

That would leave them with only a few days remaining to make decisions before the matter would be handed over to the township’s vacancy board to settle the issue.

The vacancies happened when Balogh won both two- and six-year terms on the board in November’s election. He selected the longer term and resigned from his two-year seat on Jan. 3. Former supervisor Jeff Stanley resigned from his seat on Dec. 30.

Three of the nearly 50 residents who attended Tuesday night’s meeting asked for the board to appoint Bill Brooks and Neil Kelly to the two seats because they received the second- and third-most votes in the municipal election.

“It seems to me that the logical choice is the people’s choice,” resident George Block said. “People chose (Brooks and Kelly) in a very, very close race.”

Township Manager Frank Siffrinn said those two candidates are among the seven people who have submitted letters of interest for the positions. He said the board of supervisors has until the end of the month to appoint a person to one position and must fill the other vacancy in early February. He said the supervisors could make both appointments at the same time if they desire to do so.

“For the sake of expediency, if they’re going to convene the vacancy board, I would hope they would have both (decisions) at the same time,” Siffrinn said.

If they can’t agree by the two impending deadlines, the vacancy board chairman, Stewart White, will likely be the deciding vote at a meeting date that has not yet been determined. All three supervisors must attend that meeting.

If no decision is made within 15 days of the deadlines, the matter will be turned over to Washington County Court. Siffrinn hoped the matter could be decided before then.

The supervisors are scheduled to meet again at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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