Share This Page

Ford City seeks volunteers to fill vacancies

| Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

FORD CITY — Borough Council is seeking several volunteers to fill positions on committees.

During a special meeting on Monday night, council said that three members of the planning commission — Tim Bennett, Christopher Dilick and Robert Welch — tendered their resignations on April 18. Although no reason was given, Mayor Marc Mantini said the public meeting was not the appropriate venue to discuss it.

“These are important positions,” said Mantini. “The planning commission is involved in coming to the borough (council) with the citizens' input. When people resign en masse like this, questions need to be asked.”

Council secretary Lisa Bittner said the commission, which meets once each month and is comprised of unpaid volunteers, only has two of seven seats filled.

Councilwoman Kim Bish made a motion to advertise the open positions to interested residents.

“We need people who give a flying hoot about what happens to this town,” said Bish. “Some people really don't. All they want to do is complain and they don't want to contribute.”

Councilman Jerry Miklos said the problem doesn't lie in finding volunteers but in providing support from the borough council.

“I've heard comments over the past year that council has not been very accommodating in terms of providing guidance, guidelines, rules, regulations or informational literature (to the planning commission),” said Miklos. “I think some of these people (who resigned) felt rather alienated and left out there hanging. If we're not going to support these people, then advertising for these positions is an exercise in futility.”

Still, the motion passed, and the borough is seeking volunteers.

In addition, council is looking for residents to serve on the sewage authority. Councilman Eugene Banks said he was asked by authority president Terry Tokarek to fill one of two empty seats on the five-person committee. Although the motion was made to appoint Banks, it initially failed to get a second. Miklos said filling the position with a council member was symptomatic of a larger problem.

“If we can't get people to serve, maybe it's time to start talking about disbanding the authority and taking the savings we may realize,” he said. “If we can't get citizens to run the authority, then maybe we need to get a professional. Maybe we can look at hiring a borough manager to take over this borough in all functions.”

Council president Lou Vergari said that discussion should occur at another time.

“We have a vacancy now and we have a man willing to fill that vacancy,” he said.

Bish eventually seconded the motion to appoint Banks to the authority, and he will fill the five-year expired term previously held by Ryan Cosgrove.

Miklos said, “I think it's truly a shame that we don't have more citizens with a little more fortitude to step up and serve the community they live in. I'm hoping people will get interested in serving on these committees.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.