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North Irwin write-in candidates to fill seats

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By Amanda Dolasinski
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, 5:09 p.m.

Despite initial concerns there would be empty seats on North Irwin borough council, a full council should be appointed by January, officials said.

John McIntyre was re-elected, according to unofficial election results. The top three write-in vote getters will round out the other four open seats, John Montini, director of the Westmoreland County Election Bureau said.

“There's always going to be seven,” he said.

Names of the write-in vote winners will not be announced until the votes are certified. Montini said it can take several weeks for the bureau to certify those votes.

There is no concern there will be any empty seats, which would halt borough business, said borough manager Adele Nehas.

Although she said she has an idea who won write-in votes, she declined to name anyone until the votes are certified.

Ken Galley, Kim Macalus, Matt Berkhouse, and Ron Rodgers did not seek re-election. Berkhouse had been appointed to finish the term of Zach Laugherty, who resigned in 2012. Tom Harrison resigned in January, but his term would have been completed in December.

Ronald Brown is council's only incumbent council member. Gina Sonnik was appointed to finish out the term of Bernie Reynolds, who died in May.

In the case of a vacancy, council members have 30 days to fill them, according to the state borough code. If that doesn't work, council must form a vacancy board that has 15 days to fill open positions.

If still open, the vacancy board must petition the Court of Common Pleas to appoint a resident who is registered to vote in the community.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626 or adolasinski@tribweb.

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