Punxsy council reorganization makes Williams president, Bianco VP

Matthew Triponey
Staff Writer

A reorganization meeting that welcomed new faces to Punxsutawney Borough Council on Monday also resulted in a leadership shake-up that saw recently elected Bill Williams become president and Jim Bianco become vice president.

For president, motions and seconds were made for both Williams and Larry Chenoga, who previously held the position. Roll call votes were taken and resulted in a tie, with Bianco, Williams and Jeanne Porada backing Williams and Chenoga, Cindy Rebuck and Justin Cameron backing Chenoga. Mayor Richard Alexander, called upon to break the tie, cast a vote for Williams, saying he felt the borough needed a change at the top.

The selection of vice president unfolded in almost exactly the same way. Bianco and Rebuck were nominated, with Williams’ backers voting for Bianco and Chenoga’s for Rebuck. Once again, the mayor broke the tie, choosing Bianco for the same reason as Williams.

Council was largely in lockstep on the rest of the items on Monday’s agenda. Cameron was the sole nominee for council president pro-tem and was elected 5-1; laughing, he cast the sole vote against himself.

It then fell upon council to appoint someone to the vacant council seat left over after former member Toby Santik resigned his position to take the job of borough manager. The only letter of interest was submitted by former council member Michele Lorenzo, who failed to secure reelection in November. By a unanimous vote, members returned her to the council.

PHOTO: Pictured is the newly reorganized Punxsutawney Borough Council (front, from left): fire chief Paul Hense, vice president Jim Bianco, president Bill Williams, president pro-tem Justin Cameron, borough manager Toby Santik, (back) solicitor Nicholas Gianvito, Michele Lorenzo, Larry Chenoga, Cindy Rebuck, Jeanne Porada, mayor Richard Alexander and outgoing interim borough manager Jim Nelles.