Plum councilman, sued by VFW, removes name from ballot

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

Councilman Keith Nowalk, who is being sued by the Holiday Park Volunteer Fire Department, said Tuesday he will not seek re-election in November.

“I have withdrawn my name from the November ballot for re-election,” Nowalk said in a statement emailed Tuesday night to the Plum Advance Leader.

“I want to take this time off to clarify my obligations with the Holiday Park VFD regarding Nowalk Daily Grind. Due to the economic conditions that many of us face and the fact that our firemen are our local heroes, I regret the situation in so many ways.

“I am obligated to focus on my family and business in ‘14 and forward. I want to thank all the residents of Plum for giving me a opportunity to serve and will always be proud that I was part of the most proactive and productive majorities in borough history while maintaining fiscal responsibility for the benefit of all residents.

“Thank you for the opportunity these past four years to serve all the residents of Plum.”

Nowalk had no further comment.

The Holiday Park Volunteer Fire Department in May sued Nowalk in the civil division of county Common Pleas Court seeking $196,536 for what it contends is his failure to pay rent on a building owned by and next door to the fire department on Route 286 in Plum.

The fire department said in the complaint that a portion of the amount was for renovations to the space that Nowalk converted into a coffee house and pizzeria.

Nowalk, 49, a member of council's finance committee, at the end of April closed the Nowalk Daily Grind after he said he wasn't able to pay the rent — about $2,800 a month — for the first four months of the year.

Former Plum Republican Committee chairman Dave Majernik said the committee plans to meet on Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at his home, 932 Rockland Drive, to vote on a candidate to take Nowalk's place on the November ballot.

Dell said he knows of four Republicans who are interested in seeking the four-year term.

Dell said he learned “very recently” of Nowalk's decision to withdraw from the race. He had no comment on Nowalk's decision.

The election is Nov. 5.

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