North Strabane Township has cultivated a reputation in recent years for being run smoothly, with a collegial board of supervisors and savvy, hands-on management. Being the home of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the revenue that comes with it has certainly not hurt either.
However, the township’s standing has been endangered since the start of 2014, thanks to a deadlock that has found supervisors Robert Balogh, Brian Spicer and Sonia Stopperich unable to agree on who should fill two vacancies on the board and who should fill an assortment of other posts, from solicitor to parks and recreation and municipal authority directors.
A vacancy board meeting is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m., and the stalemate on filling the two seats on the board of supervisors could be broken then. However, with the vacancy board chairman, Stewart White, serving as a fourth vote, there’s the possibility of a 2-2 vote and the whole matter landing in Washington County Court.
It shouldn’t be that way.
This is one of those moments where someone needs to compromise. Several residents submitted letters of interest in filling the seats, and the board could also turn to two candidates, Bill Brooks and Neil Kelly, who both ran for seats in November but lost. Brooks is a veteran of the board and Kelly is a resident who has paid close attention to township politics. Either or both would be good – and fair – choices.
Residents of North Strabane should hope this is resolved quickly. If not, it doesn’t bode well for governance in the township in the months ahead.