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Few candidates for vacant Shippensburg Borough Council seat

2 January 2013 No Comment


UPDATE: A third candidate came forward Thursday morning.

A lack of competition for the vacated West Ward seat on Shippensburg Borough Council was corrected when a second candidate came forward late in the day Wednesday.

The agenda for today’s meeting, at 6 p.m. in the borough office, includes interview times for four candidates, but by early afternoon Wednesday it looked like no interviews would take place.

Before then just one person, who is unable to attend the interview or half of council’s meetings which take place at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays each month, had applied, Parshall said. The borough received a second candidate’s letter of interest around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Parshall said in an e-mail soon after. He did not respond to a request for the candidates’ names by presstime.

“The timing was really bad,” he said, blaming the holiday season for the lack of candidates.

It is possible that more candidates could come forward prior to the meeting today and be able to participate in an interview at the meeting, Parshall said.

The seat opened when council accepted the resignation of Jon Baker on Dec. 4 because he moved out of town, Parshall said.

Shippensburg Borough Council follows the Pennsylvania Borough Code for matters including filling a vacant borough council seat.

According to the code, council has 30 days from the day a seat was vacated to fill it. Council accepted Baker’s resignation 30 days ago this Friday.

Should council fail to fill the seat by Friday, then the responsibility will go to the vacancy board, which will have 15 days to fill the seat.

If the seat is still not filled, then the chair of the vacancy board must petition the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to fill the seat. Shippensburg is split between Franklin and Cumberland counties, and the West Ward is a voting district of Franklin.

To be eligible, a candidate must be a registered voter of the West Ward and must have lived there for at least one year.

Whoever takes on the vacated seat will represent the West Ward with Kerri Burrows.

Looking back to her own ambitions while running for the West Ward seat in the November 2011 election, Burrows said she would like to see somebody who is willing to listen to constituents, is open minded and is willing to work with other council members.

“And somebody who wants the best for Shippensburg in the end,” she added.

Burrows hopes issues important to a candidate include downtown revitalization, relations with Shippensburg University and keeping crime down in the area.

Persons interested in taking the West Ward council seat must send a one-to-two sentence letter of interest to Parshall by mail, at Shippensburg Borough Office, 111 N. Fayette St., P.O. Box 129, Shippensburg, Pa. 17257; or by e-mail, eparshall@borough.shippensburg.pa.us.
Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com and 262-4771.

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