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Incumbents get write-in support in Mont Alto ballot

November 06, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

MONT ALTO, Pa. - No incumbents and no challengers filed for the three seats on the Mont Alto Borough Council in Tuesday's election, but the three incumbents whose terms end this year received enough write-in votes to stay on the board, according to complete but unofficial results.

The results of the balloting posted by election workers on the door of Wesley United Methodist Church on Main Street, the borough polling place, showed that the names of about 20 people had been written in for borough council.

It only takes a majority of one vote to be elected, said Borough Secretary Patty Kocek.

Douglas Duffey, John Flory and Michael Gossard had the most write-in votes.

According to the unofficial returns on the church door, the three top write-in vote-getters were the three incumbents - Duffey, 12 write-ins, and Flory and Gossard with 11 votes each.

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None of the three filed for re-election.

A couple of names on the list had more than one write-in votes.

Neither Flory nor Duffey could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Gossard, 40, is an electronics mechanic with the 167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard based in Martinsburg, W.Va.

He said the federal Hatch Act prevents him for running for office, but he can serve if appointed or if he gets enough write-in votes. At one time, he was elected to a four-year term and later was appointed to fill an unexpired term that ends in December.

In addition, Gossard said the rules prevent him from serving on the council while he still is on active duty. He said he is scheduled to be deactivated March 25, at which time he said he would look forward to taking a seat on the council. "My intention is to accept the position," he said.

He said his tour of active duty could be extended, in which case he could not serve on the council.

Mont Alto's write-in votes will be counted and certified during the official canvass of all ballots cast countywide Tuesday. The canvass begins Friday in the Franklin County Courthouse.

The Mont Alto Borough Council has seven members, so maintaining a quorum is usually not a problem at meetings, even with vacancies, Council Vice President Thomas Lowson said last week.

Council President P. Edward Nunemaker said at Monday night's council meeting that he was resigning from the board because he no longer lives in the borough, Kocek said.

Lowson will act as president until the council appoints a new member to fill Nunemaker's seat and a new president is elected, Kocek said.

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