Councilwoman seems to avoid ouster in W. Kittanning
Turns out Paula Henry's swearing-in as a West Kittanning councilwoman last month is likely to be a case of better late than never.
A week after the West Kittanning Borough Council members talked about ousting the three-term councilwoman for not taking her oath of office on time, Henry was sworn in by District Judge James Owen during the week of Valentine's Day. She has also filed all the paperwork, such as proof of residency, needed to take office, Secretary Carly Cowan said.
“Some members of council are still trying to find out if they can take some type of action against her,” Cowan said. “There's still discussion to be had at our meeting.”
Council meets Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the West Kittanning Fire Department, 401 Arthur St.
Henry has had a spotty record of attendance at council meetings during her recent tenure on the board. She attended two meetings last year — in March and April. She has not been to any meetings since her re-election, according to council minutes.
Cowan said she expects Henry to be at Tuesday's meeting. Henry has not returned several phone calls and could not be reached for comment.
In February, council members questioned whether Henry remained eligible to hold her seat because she missed the organizational meeting where the oath of office was taken. Henry had 10 days after the Jan. 7 organizational meeting to be sworn into office, according to the Pennsylvania Borough Code.
But since Henry took the oath, it may be pointless to keep trying to oust her, said Ed Knittel, senior director of education and sustainability at the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.
Although borough code used to have an attendance requirement, a Supreme Court case in the late 1990s determined a council member cannot be ousted for missing meetings, Knittel said. The only reason a council member can be ousted, other than at the polls, is for a felony conviction, he said.
“Someone would probably have to take it up with the courts to have her removed,” Knittel said. “If she's taken the oath of office at any time, then a dispute over if she's part of the board is kind of a moot point.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Life skills students enjoy prom festivities in Manor
- Kittanning councilman’s property removed from sheriff sale list
- West Shamokin students get lesson about driving under the influence
- Feds to Ford City: 60 days to repay $581,000 grant default
- Ford City family’s war collection being featured at Pittsburgh museum
- CEO leaving Kittanning’s Progressive Workshop after 36-year run
- Burglary suspect arrested in Kittanning
- High school vandalism captured on video in Ford City
- Spices make the difference for thriving Armstrong County chip company
- Armstrong gets 4th officer trained to spot drugged drivers
- Armstrong candidates tackle issues during forum