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Vacancy on Derry Borough Council filled

| Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Derry Borough Council filled one vacancy on council during its meeting on Monday night and heard from residents who suggested another council member should step down.

Council appointed David Fletcher to fill the vacancy left when Nelie Smith resigned in April. Fletcher has lived in Derry for the past seven years and works in Pittsburgh as an information technology professional employed by the state, according to his letter of interest. Fletcher said he has experience writing grants and fundraising, and is a member of the borough's volunteer fire department.

Earlier in the meeting, resident Mary Landis asked council about the status of council member Kristine Melville, who in April pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property in connection with about $1,300 that went missing last spring from Derry Community Pool, which she managed at the time.

Solicitor Lee Demosky said a court order would be needed to force Melville out of her elected office if she chose not to resign and noted the expense and time required to pursue legal action.

Melville, a Democrat whose four-year term expires at the end of 2015, was absent from the meeting and did not return a phone call seeking comment. Council member Jim Ritenour was also absent.

Council approved ordinances authorizing three-year property tax exemptions for new dwelling units constructed in the borough and for certain deteriorated industrial, commercial and other business property.

Council approved ordinances amending the borough's street restoration ordinance, changing the type of gravel listed in the ordinance, approving maintenance agreements for the Route 217 bridge for sidewalks, lighting and drainage, and clearing the receipt of $10,000 from the Westmoreland County district attorney for purchase of the new K-9 officer vehicle.

The borough has vacancies on a number of boards and commissions, including a pair of openings on the planning commission and two vacancies on the civil service commission. There are openings for a vacancy board chairman, a position on the municipal authority board and a position the zoning hearing board.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724- 459-6100, ext. 2913 or greinbold@tribweb.com.

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