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Connellsville councilman says future of advisory board uncertain

| Sunday, March 31, 2013, 5:27 p.m.

Connellsville City Councilman Greg (Matty) Ritch said he is not sure what the future holds for the advisory board of the Connellsville Community Center.

But, he said, things are still moving forward at the center, located on Fairview Avenue.

The advisory board was appointed by city council several months. During that last several months, several members of the eight-member board resigned. At the end of February there were four members remaining. At a meeting in February, those four members agreed to suspend any advisory board action until further notice.

In March, Gary Colatch, acting chairman of the advisory board, said the board members didn't feel like they had any reason to continue after they were informed that a new revitalization committee of volunteers had been formed to be involved in community center interests.

Recently, Colatch confirmed there is nothing going on from an advisory board standpoint at this point.

“I don't think the members that are left want to come back right now,” Colatch said. “I haven't heard from Mayor (Charles) Matthews or Matty (Councilman) Ritch. So as far as I know, they are happily moving on with the volunteer group they put together.”

Colatch said he is waiting to see what happens in the upcoming municipal election. He believes other advisory board members are also following the race for council and mayor.

Ritch said as far as he knows the advisory board's self suspension is still ongoing.

“Our volunteer group is here and working every day,” Ritch said. He said the volunteer base continues to grow.

“I'm real pleased with the progress we're making here,” Ritch said. “One focus — one direction.”

“Things are on a very good pace,” Ritch said. “We continue to see improvement and involvement from dedicated individuals in this community.”

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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