New Castle News

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July 11, 2014

Bessemer names new councilwoman

NEW CASTLE — Bessemer Borough has a new council member.

Council on Monday named Melinda Scurlock to fill the seat of Ryan Ray, who resigned with 3 1/2 years left in his term because he moved out of the borough.

Scurlock will fill the position until after the next municipal election in 2015.

Mayor Ray Penwell broke a 3-3 tie to name Scurlock to the position. Voting with Penwell were council president John Kliem and members LuAnne Izzo and Brad McKenna. Voting against were Dale Baker, Art VanTassel and Tom McGraw.

Kliem said that four people had expressed interest in the position and Council narrowed the field to Scurlock and Jane Beight. Kliem said they voted on each candidate separately, according to Pennsylvania State Association of Borough rules. He said the vote on Scurlock was first and because she received four votes, Beight did not come up for a vote.

Kliem said Scurlock will be sworn in at the regular council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

Scurlock, 39, of Oak Street said she grew up in the Edinburg and Hillsville areas and graduated from Mohawk High School. She earned a degree in elementary education from Slippery Rock University and is employed as a coordinator in the early learning program at Lawrence County Social Services.

She moved to Bessemer in 2003. She and her husband, Homer, have three children.

Scurlock said this will be the first time she has held public office. She said she sought the position because after attending several council meetings over the years, she felt it was “an opportunity to make things better.”

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