Peters officials prepare for life without Councilman Robert Atkison
With the unexpected death of a longtime colleague, Peters officials are preparing for life without Councilman Robert Atkison.
On Monday, township council members will formally declare the seat vacant and begin the process of naming a replacement to finish Atkison's term. It expires in December 2015.
“I'm not sure how council will handle it,” township Manager Michael Silvestri said. “Everybody was upset and sad about it. But it is something we have to deal with. We have to move on.”
Atkison, 81, died on July 7. He served on Peters council for 22 of the past 24 years. The Army veteran also was a longtime member and assistant director of the VFW Post 764 Ambulance Service.
Peters requires at least 200 days' notice before an election. Council is appointing someone to finish Atkison's term because there isn't enough time before the November election to put the election for his seat on the ballot, Silvestri said.
“It's going to be difficult to find someone like Bob with all the experience he had with municipal government,” council President Frank Arcuri said.
Silvestri said Atkison is the first council member to die while in office since he started working for the township 37 years ago.
Council opted not to declare Atkinson's seat vacant when it met a day after his death, on July 8.
“It was a somber meeting,” Silvestri said.
Other council members couldn't bring themselves to declare the seat vacant at that meeting out of respect and deference to their late colleague, Arcuri said.
Following a 10-day waiting period, council members will have 30 days to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
To date, one person has inquired about the opening, Silvestri said.
Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.