January 2 – A number of boroughs and townships around the area are having reorganizational meetings this week after November’s election. New members will be seated and various positions assigned.
The Chambersburg Borough Council reorganizational meeting will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in Council Chambers at 100 South Second Street in Chambersburg.
The group is already down one person with the resignation of David Beltz Sr. due to health reasons. Beltz was voted in last November, but feels he will be unable to perform his duties.
Alan Coffman, previous borough president, explained, “So we start the search again for somebody else for the Fourth Ward. We’ve had a lot of, it seems like, a lot of turmoil and problems trying to get things settled down in the Fourth Ward. Unfortunately, Dave decided he was not going to be able to handle this due to health issues. I understand that and so we’re going to go on a search and we’ll talk to some people and we’ll point at somebody for the remaining two years until the next election two years from now. It’s odd that we’d have these two year terms in the Fourth Ward. It’s never happened since I’ve been on council that I remember.”
Council will now be short a member until a decision is made.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “Highly unusual to have a vacancy before the new term even starts. I saw that Friday when the borough sent out their weekly press release about agenda items for this week and thought wow, this is pretty remarkable. We know it will take at least a few weeks to fill that seat. I believe they would stay in for one or two years until there would be a special election to then fill the seat. Historically when these vacancies occur, sometimes the deal that gets made is whatever it is you’re getting appointed to, part of the deal is you agree up front not to run for the vacant seat. The thinking is you don’t want to give that person an incumbency advantage. Now whether council takes that position with this remains to be seen, but again pretty remarkable that here we are reorg time, new council members being sworn in and you already have someone who has resigned.”
Coffman said, “The agenda only considers things that concern the reorganization. There’s no business per se being conducted at this meeting tonight. It’s just getting people in the proper place for the next two years really.”
Mayor Ken Hock will run the meeting tonight until council elects the president.
Coffman said, “So he gets things started off for us. We’ll do the usual things. We’ll have the prayer and we have the pledge to the flag and then we’ll have the swearing in of the new and reelected members of council.”
District Justice Glenn Manns will handle the swearing in.
Another new council member will be Sharon Coffman, wife of Alan Coffman.
Chadwick Hare will be a new addition for the Third Ward.
Stacy Short will return to represent the Fourth Ward.
Bill Everly will return for the Fifth Ward and John Huber for the Second Ward.
If Coffman is nominated for president, will he accept?
“Sure I would,” he confirmed. “Absolutely. When that part of the organizational meeting gets over with then the gavel comes to the president of council for the remaining part of the meeting. So the mayor is done with it at that point.”
Will the votes be there to accept Coffman?
“I certainly hope so,” he said, “I would like to say yes, but you never know until the votes are done.”
After that, other nominations will be heard.
Coffman explained, “After that will be the nomination and selection for the vice president. Then it goes to the personnel liaison person who will be appointed and also then it goes to the finance chair and the assistant finance chair. Then after that we get into the long part of the 31 boards, committees and commissions that we have to appoint people for. It has to be done every two years. So we’ll work our way through it.”
For tonight’s agenda, click here: http://www.borough.chambersburg.pa.us/pdf/Public%20Edition%2001022024%20Organizational%20Meeting%20Simple%20Agenda.pdf