Centre Region municipal governments seat new members, elect leaders

Municipal governments welcomed newly elected members and selected new leadership at annual reorganization meetings this week.

Here’s what most of the municipalities in the Centre Region did this week:

In Ferguson Township, officials replaced one long-time member with another as chairman.

Dick Mascolo was unanimously elected chairman of the Board of Supervisors, replacing the outgoing George Pytel.

Mascolo was most recently elected to the board in 2011, but several years before that had previously served on the panel.

Drew Clemson was unanimously elected vice chairman.

Two new members, elected in November, were sworn in at the meeting. Janet Whitaker, a political newcomer, and Steve Miller, who had a previous stint on the board, officially took their places this week.

Harris Township also will have a new chairman in 2014. Charles Graham was unanimously elected to the position, replacing Paul Rittenhouse Sr.

“He’s represented this township very well,” Graham said of Rittenhouse.

Nigel Wilson will serve as vice chairman.

The newly elected Christopher Lee was sworn in during the meeting to what will be his third stint on the Board of Supervisors.

Lee, who is the CEO of the Boal Mansion Museum, took the opportunity to give an impromptu history lesson about the Bible that Centre County Judge Bradley P. Lunsford used in the ceremony.

“This is a 1805 Bible signed by the pioneer David Boal ... right here in Harris Township, but it was Ferguson Township back then,” Lee told Lunsford.

Familiar faces will fill the top roles on the Patton Township Board of Supervisors.

Elliot Abrams was elected chairman and Bryce Boyer vice chairman, both unanimously. Both Abrams and Boyer have previously filled those positions.

“As I’ve said before, if at any time you feel I’m representing things incorrectly, just let me know and I’ll fix it, or I’ll try to,” Abrams said after the vote.

Political newcomer George Downsbrough will join the board in 2014, along with returning incumbents Abrams and Josh Troxell.

In College Township, David Fryer will remain Township Council chairman and Mary Shoemaker will serve as vice chairwoman, according to township officials. New members Lynn Herman and Carla Stilson and returning member Eric Bernier were also sworn in at the meeting.

Herman served as a state representative for 24 years, while Stilson is a political newcomer who graduated from Penn State.