PUNXSUTAWNEY — A new Punxsutawney Borough Council began its new year, as three newly-elected members were sworn into office by Mayor James Wehrle at Monday’s reorganization meeting.
New members Michele Lorenzo, Toby Santik and Eric Story took the oath, conducted by Wehrle, who chaired the meeting until a new president was elected.
On a motion by Mike Porada, Larry Chenoga was elected president unanimously with a 6-0 vote. The recent resignation of former council President Susan Glessner created a vacant seat, thus the 6-0 vote.
Council member William Spencer nominated former council member Robert Reesman to fill Glessner’s vacancy, which was approved 4-2 vote, with Chenoga, Spencer, Lorenzo and Santik voting yes, and Porada and Story voting no.
Reesman will serve out the remaining two years of Glessner’s term.
Chenoga thanked everyone who has helped him as a council member in the past.
“This is not a one-person job, there are seven people here and we must work together as a team,” he said, adding that he’s looking forward to making some changes in the way council works with other groups, such as the Punxsutawney Area School Board.
“There are some people whose phones will be ringing as I’ll seek out advice from various members of the community,” Chenoga said. “I think if we all work together, we can do a really good job.”
Chenoga read a small article called “Think Through Decisions,” which, in part, read, ”’It’s easy to make quick decisions, but it’s not easy to suffer through the consequences of rash decisions.’ The longer you’re on council, the more you find that is very true.”
Also, Spencer nominated Porada as vice-president,which was approved 6-0.
Porada also nominated Lorenzo for the position of president pro-tem, which was approved 6-0.
• The new council accepted Glessner’s Dec. 23 resignation letter.
• Bryan Smith was also sworn in as the new chief of the Punxsutawney Fire Department, succeeding Paul Hense, whose term had expired.
Hense will continue to serve as a firefighter at the Lindsey Fire Company and as department president.
• Council approved meeting times to remain the same: 6:30 p.m. the Tuesday before council meetings. The regular council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month, except for Veterans’ Day, Nov. 12. That meeting will be held Nov. 13.
All meetings will be held in council chambers in the Mahoning East Civic Center.
Also, council approved:
• Sharkey, Piccirillo, Keen & Hanzely LLP CPAs in DuBois as auditor.
• Jay Lundy as solicitor.
• Emily States Pearce as treasurer.
• The EADS Group Inc. as engineer.
• Mary Neal as corporate secretary.
• Bank Depositories: S&T Bank, First Commonwealth Bank, Community National Bank, Marion Center Bank, Indiana First Savings Bank, Community First Bank and PNC Bank. Story abstained from voting on the depositories.
The next council meeting is at 7 p.m. next Monday.