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New Plum council member boosts GOP to super majority

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Republicans have regained the super majority on Plum Council.

Members during Monday night's meeting voted 3-2 to appoint Republican Dave Seitz to the seat left vacant by the resignation of Don Knopfel, who moved out of the borough.

Seitz, 49, unsuccessfully sought a seat on borough council in last year's election.

The appointment runs through the end of Knopfel's term — Dec. 31, 2015.

Seitz's appointment results in the Republicans regaining the 5-2 super majority that they held from 2009 through 2013.

Prior to the appointment of Seitz, Democrats Steve “Skip” Taylor and Dave Vento supported fellow Democrat and former councilman Paul Dern for the position. The three Republicans in attendance voted against Dern's appointment. Councilman Leonard Szarmach, a Republican, was not at the meeting.

Council President Mike Doyle said he spoke with Dern about the appointment.

“I had two conversations with Mr. Dern,” Doyle said.

“He said he was interested, but if it was going to cause a problem, he didn't want to make a bad situation. He said if he was in our seat, he would want a 5-2 majority, too.”

Councilman John Anderson nominated Seitz. Doyle and Dell, also Republicans, supported Seitz. Taylor and Vento voted against Seitz's appointment.

Dell said Democrat Jeff Russo, a former councilman and member of Plum School Board, also submitted a letter of interest for the appointment.

“He (Seitz) ran last time,” Doyle said. “He is an attorney and an engineer,” Doyle said.

“I will be happy to have someone to keep an eye on (Bruce) Dice (borough solicitor) and (Robert) Mitall (borough engineer),” Doyle joked. “He is a level-headed, common sense guy.”

Mayor Richard Hrivnak administered the oath of office to Seitz, who joined the other council members for the work session.

“I am happy to have the opportunity to do my best,” said Seitz who also is vice president of the Plum Baseball & Softball Association.

Seitz said he has made no decision about seeking a four-year term in next year's election cycle.

“This is not a bad opportunity as a test period to see if I have the time to do it,” Seitz said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2367 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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