New Castle News

January 23, 2014

City council hoping to fill vacancy

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Castle City Council will again consider filling a vacancy on council tonight.

Council president William Panella said the city has received seven letters of interest from residents seeking to fill the vacancy for a two-year term.

“I hope we can reach a consensus on Thursday,” Panella said at council’s work session on Tuesday.

He added that he hoped that would happen rather than have Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas or the mayor decide on the appointment.

The matter would go to court if council is not able to appoint someone within 30 days of Jan. 6 when the vacancy occurred with Councilman Anthony Adamo’s acceptance of a four-year term. The 30-day period will expire Feb. 5.

Adamo was elected to both four– and two–year terms in November.

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo would have the option to vote on a new council member only if council’s vote ended in a 2-2 tie.

Council members were given copies of the seven letters of interest Tuesday night. Councilman Tim Fulkerson asked whether council could meet in executive session to discuss the vacancy. City solicitor Jason Medure responded, saying that filling vacancies for elected positions must be done publicly.

Council was deadlocked on the appointment at its Jan. 9 meeting when Panella and Councilman Richard Beshero supported former councilman Ed Yerage while Adamo and Fulkerson nominated two other people.

Adamo and Fulkerson favored opening up the process to other residents and set last week as a deadline for submission of letters of interest.

Four days later — Jan. 13 — Yerage said he was not interested in the position. His four-year term expired in December. He did not run for another term.