Open Philipsburg borough council seat filled

For the CDTSeptember 16, 2013 

— It took two nominations and two votes but Philipsburg has a full council again.

At Monday’s meeting, a minimum quorum of four council members reviewed the four applications for the seat vacated by Walt Chorle at the August meeting. Nominations were made for two of the candidates, John Franek Jr. and Michael Foreman.

A vote on Franek, a College Township management analyst who stated in his application letter that he has lived in the Philipsburg area for more than 20 years, had support from just one council member, Mike Wilks. A second vote on local resident Michael Foreman took all four votes.

Foreman must be sworn in within the next four days, according to Borough Council Vice President Barbara Gette. He will serve out the remainder of the calendar year with this appointment.

Chorle’s resignation unexpectedly came just in time for the November general election. Prospective candidates for the remaining two years of the position, however, have little time to make the ballot. Gette said anyone interested in running for the position must contact their county party chairman for nomination, suggesting they do it “like yesterday.”

Councilman Sam Womer, who nominated Foreman, said the reason he hadn’t leaned toward appointing the remaining two candidates, Eric Bordas or Wanda McDonald, was because both are on the ballot for other council seats in November.

Council also voted to hire two code enforcement officers to replace the one that resigned last month after demanding Chorle’s resignation. Roger Hulsey was hired full time and Richard Reed part time. Both hirings are pending background checks and will have a 90 day probationary period.

One more position was filled, unexpectedly, with exactly the same person who held it. Patrick Fanelli has been borough solicitor for 12 years. Shortly before the meeting, council was notified that he has left his prior firm Andrews & Beard and is setting up his own shop, Fanelli and Willett.

Council voted to retain Fanelli’s services in the new firm rather than going with a new attorney with their old firm.

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