New Castle News

January 14, 2014

Yerage: Not interested in council seat

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Former New Castle councilman Ed Yerage says thanks, but no thanks.

“I’m not interested in rejoining council,” Yerage said Monday, following efforts last week to bring him back to the city’s governing body.

Councilmen William Panella and Richard Beshero placed his name in nomination to fill the vacancy for a two-year term. That opening was created when Anthony Adamo — who had been elected to two-year and four-year terms in November — opted to accept the longer one.

At last week’s meeting, Adamo and Councilman Tim Fulkerson nominated other people.

As a result, council was deadlocked, unable to reach a consensus on anyone.

If council fails to appoint someone by Feb. 5, at least 10 registered voters can petition Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to fill the vacancy.

Adamo and Fulkerson also want to give city residents the opportunity to file a letter of interest to serve on council. They set a Thursday deadline for submitting applications and resumes.

Yerage’s four-year term expired in December. He did not seek re-election last year.

When told by The News of Yerage’s position, Panella said, “If Mr. Yerage is not interested, then we’ll have to look at all the resumes that come in.”

He expressed confidence that council will be able to appoint someone to fill the vacancy at its Jan. 23 meeting.

“I really think we’ll be able to come to a decision.”

Yerage said he “never objected about someone speaking on my behalf” and appointing him if council would have “a difficult time finding a qualified candidate. Then I would step forward and fill the position until the two years are up.”

However, he pointed out, “If I was totally for this position, I would have run for it.

“The city has bigger problems that need solutions,” he continued. “And this council cannot start off with this being a problem.”

Asked whether he would have accepted the appointment if the majority had voted for him last week, Yerage said he would have accepted only if there had been a unanimous vote.

“If all four people would have been unanimously comfortable with me taking that seat, I would have taken that seat.”

He added he appreciates “the support that Councilmen Beshero and Panella had in me.”

An attempt to reach Beshero Monday was unsuccessful.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)