New Greencastle councilwoman says her gender will not impact service

May 09, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Michele Emmett has served less than a week in public office, but the recently appointed Greencastle Borough Council member has no qualms about her new role.

"I believe that if we have the skills and talent to serve through public office, we have a responsibility to do so," she said.

The council appointed Emmett on Monday to fill the seat vacated in March by Nancy Dunn.

For 19 years, Emmett has run a private counseling practice in Hagerstown. With a background in mental health that includes a master's degree and extensive work as director of nonprofit agencies, she is excited to use her long-range planning, program development and emergency management skills as a councilwoman.

But it is her understanding of people and her expertise in working with the public that she hopes will best serve the community.


Emmett said she has a great appreciation for government, and in 2007, she applied for the seat that was awarded to Christopher Grimm after Kate Deater resigned.

Just as Emmett waited patiently for her turn to serve Greencastle, she sat patiently through her first council meeting Monday, intentionally abstaining and absorbing as much information as she could.

Her silence was out of respect for those who she now serves, she said.

"I take this appointment seriously enough to not vote on something I am not familiar with," she said. "But I promise that I am quite able to speak up and offer my opinion when it is asked for or warranted."

The Greencastle Borough Council has struggled to keep a female perspective on the council, with its last two female members resigning before completing their first term in office.

Despite claims by Deater that some council members did not take her seriously, Emmett said she does not anticipate her gender will impact her service.

"I am glad to represent my beliefs on council and play my part in the future of our town," Emmett said.

She promised voters that she will do her homework to climb the steep learning curve and be an effective community leader.

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