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Greencastle group hopes Democrat is appointed to council

December 28, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Greencastle-Antrim Democratic Club says it wants a Democrat to fill the open seat on the Greencastle Borough Council.

In a formal letter, the club asked the council to "appoint a Democrat" as a gesture of "respect (for) the will of the electorate."

In December, Councilwoman Kate Deater submitted her resignation, opening a position on the seven-member council. Deater, who served only a portion of her first term, was the only Democrat on the council.

Ruth Jordan, president of the Greencastle-Antrim Democratic Club, said the club's request is a reflection of changes in the community.

"Greencastle is becoming more diverse," she wrote in the letter. Jordan said Democrats have a different way of looking at the world that is open to growing diversity.

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Like many people in the small community, Jordan acknowledged the significance of growth for Greencastle. Speaking of the influx of residents and traffic, she called the present situation on the council an opportunity.

"The council should look on this as an opportunity to hear a new voice," Jordan said.

While the club encouraged the council to fill Deater's seat with another Democrat, Jordan said the issue was not so much partisan politics as diversity of opinions.

"A Democrat would bring a different perspective to the table," she said.

Borough Manager Ken Myers said the council hopes to fill Deater's seat at its Jan. 2 meeting. By mid-December, Michelle Emmett, Christopher Grimm, Paul Politis and Craig Myers had submitted letters of interest to the council, Ken Myers said

Jordan said she knew that both Emmett and Politis were Democrats, but emphasized that the club has not endorsed anyone for the position.

Despite the strong encouragement by Democrats to fill the seat with one of their own, not everyone feels political party is a significant issue for council members.

"I don't believe political parties mean a whole lot at the local level," Councilman Paul Schemel said. "Paving streets is not a partisan issue in my experience."

Schemel, who began serving on the board at the same time as Deater, does not foresee contention over the upcoming appointment.

"I hope we have some debate though," he said. "I think debate, as long as it is cordial, is healthy."

Myers said the council will review the letters of intent prior to the meeting. He said the person appointed will serve until December 2007, and the position will be open to candidates in the May 2007 primary.

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