Bellefonte seeks candidates for council post

mmorgan@centredaily.comDecember 3, 2013 

— Borough Manager Ralph Stewart hasn’t received any formal applications for a vacant council position, and he is urging anyone from the South Ward with an interest to come forward.

The seat was vacated by Vana Dainty, who left the post to take a contractual job with the borough to promote the area. The borough will continue accepting applications until Dec. 11 and is planning to make an appointment at its Dec. 16 meeting.

Stewart said a council member leaving his or her post is something that is not out of the ordinary, and the borough does have experience filling a vacancy.

“There’s usually a couple reasons why people decide to step down in the middle of the term, and from time to time council has to fill that seat,” he said.

There have been several methods employed in filling a vacancy, including other members from that ward nominating a person, but Stewart said the open application process is the most fair and transparent way to do it.

The council has 30 days from Dainty’s resignation to fill the seat, or the courts will step in and fill it. Stewart said the council is hoping to fill the seat on its own and has had people inquire about the position.

Potential candidates will be interviewed at a public work session or an executive session before the vote for a replacement. A simple majority will determine the new council member, and if there is a tie, the mayor would cast the deciding vote.

Stewart asks anyone with questions or interest to contact the borough at 355-1501.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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