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Latrobe City Council to fill vacant seat on Monday

| Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Three of five candidates for a vacant Latrobe City Council seat addressed the board last week before members make a selection for the post.

The two-year vacancy developed when Mayor Rosie Wolford was elected in November.

Two former council members who lost re-election in the fall, Robert “Stuffy” Forish and Richard Jim, have applied for the seat, along with John “Jack” Murtha, Madalyn Smith and Eric Bartels.

Forish wants to use his four years of experience to help the city grow.

“We are not Hempfield Township. We are not Derry Township. We are not Unity Township,” he said. “We have us a little square mile here, 2.3 square miles. Our economic growth … is limited, and this is something that council has to work at.”

Bartels, a social studies teacher at Norwin High School, told council that he moved to the city with his wife, who grew up in Latrobe.

“Service is where my heart has been. It's the reason why I took the teaching jobs that I've taken,” he said. “I have a heart to serve. I try to serve this community where I can.”

Smith, a 25-year employee of the city's tax office, said she would use her experience to work with city offices and Latrobe residents.

“They have seemed to be able to tell me what they like and dislike about our town,” she said.

Council plans to appoint someone to fill the post during a meeting on Monday.

After the appointment, Wolford said, standing committees will be formed to report each month to the full council.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or