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Jeannette City Council appoints Tanyer to seat

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Kathie Tanyer has been appointed to Jeannette's city council.

Tanyer fills a spot left vacant by Jim Benson, who resigned the seat in December. The seat originally belonged to Ron Dinsmore who was elected in November 2009 and resigned in the fall of 2011.

Since that time, the seat has been filled by Bill Bedont, who resigned the appointed position when he was elected to a full four-year term in November 2011. Benson was appointed and spent a year on council. Tanyer was appointed last week.

There were six applicants for the council position at first, five of those applicants spoke to council during a special meeting last week.

Scott Youngbauer, who works in the city's recreation department, described himself as a lifelong city resident who is willing “to help 100 percent (in) any way I can, to do anything possible to help the city.”

He said he would consider a run for election this fall.

“I'd like to get out there and get hands-on with people in town because a lot of people don't have any idea what's going on,” he said.

Jacob Milliron, a 2008 Jeannette High School graduate, said he studied political science and received a degree in that field last year. He hoped to use what he learned as a member of council.

“I don't have a lot of actual experience,” he said. “But, I'm ready to learn. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have this chance.”

Milliron said he is interested in creating an online initiative that would encourage residents to shop locally.

Milliron said he would be interested in seeking a position on another board — there are openings on the Zoning Hearing Board, the Civil Service Commission and the Redevelopment Authority.

Rebecca Rosensteel purchased her first home in the city recently and her mother's family is from the city.

“I'm not entirely knowledgeable of what is expected of me (as a council member), but I'm interested in learning. I'd like to be a part of things here,” said Rosensteel, who also said she'd be willing to consider a role on another board or commission.

Rosensteel said the thing she'd most like to work on, if she were appointed, is improved communication between the city government and its residents. Rosensteel pointed to the new garbage bag requirements as an example of an area in which residents could have used more communication.

James Broker, who originally applied for this same council seat when it was open last year, operated the ice cream truck in the city for the past five years. He has since retired in order to spend more time with his nine grandchildren.

An area he'd like to see the city work on is encouraging residents to remain in Jeannette throughout their lives. He pointed to various social services to attract and keep residents.

He also said there is an impression that the city is a “good-old-boys club.” Broker said it doesn't matter if the impression is accurate, it matters that the impression exists and he'd like to see city council work to change that image.

Broker is an educator and a robotics coach and has been an officer with the Penn Rod and Gun club for several years. He told council if he were appointed, he would consider running for election to seek a full term. He said he would consider appointment to another board, as long as it were youth-oriented.

Kathie Tanyer, a resident who has attended nearly every council meeting for the past few years, was ill during council's special meeting last week. She spoke to council by phone —on speaker phone so the audience could listen — and expressed her desire to join council.

She said she hasn't made up her mind when it comes to running for election this fall. She is a member of the Zoning Hearing Board.

“I'd like to continue to work for the betterment of the community,” said Tanyer. “I've lived here most of my life. We just need to get more people involved in the city.”

“I've been thoroughly impressed by the interest in this position,” said Bedont. He also said he was encouraged by the youth, enthusiasm and experience of those who applied for the open seat. He said he hopes those who were not appointed last week will consider a run for election later this year.

Councilman Mark Levander said he was glad to see such a diverse group of applicants. Councilman Mark Clark said he was impressed by Tanyer's ongoing interest in the city and her commitment to attending council meetings as a resident.

The vote to appoint Tanyer was 3-0 in favor, Mayor Robert Carter was absent from the meeting. Levander, Clark and Bedont pointed to Tanyer's attendance at council meetings and her knowledge of ongoing council issues as reasons for appointing her to the seat.

“Being at meetings before this one (is important),” Clark said. “Having younger people is nice, too, but I'd still like to see you start coming to meetings and getting involved.”

“You don't have to justify your decision,” said Broker. “I think you're making the right decision.”

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at klinden@tribweb.com or 724-838-5154.

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