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St. Thomas board makeup is still in the air

December 16, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With the outcome of the race for the St. Thomas Township Board of Supervisors still undecided, the first order of business for the board in 2004 may be filling the vacancy for the seat now held by David Ramer.

Until Franklin County Judge Douglas W. Herman rules on whether Ramer or write-in challenger Frank Stearn is the winner of the race, the seat is considered vacant, said township attorney John Lisko.

The remaining board members, Edmund Herald and Timothy Sollenberger, could appoint someone to fill the seat on an interim basis, Lisko said.

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According to state law, Lisko said a board of supervisors has 30 days from the time a vacancy occurs to appoint someone to the position. If that does not happen, a vacancy board is supposed to name a replacement, he said.

The vacancy board, made up of the remaining supervisors and a citizen appointed by the supervisors, has 15 days to make an appointment, according to Lisko. If the seat is still vacant, the appointment could be made by the court of common pleas for the county, he said.

"Obviously, we would like to have this resolved sooner than that," Lisko said.

Herman scheduled oral arguments on the recount for Jan. 23.

Lisko said it is conceivable that the board of supervisors could name Ramer, Stearn or any other eligible resident as interim supervisor.

The last recount in a county election was in 1993 and involved a race for a supervisor seat in St. Thomas Township, said Jean Byers, the county's deputy chief clerk. In that race, Herald was the challenger to incumbent Supervisor Clair "Butch" Walls Jr., she said.

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