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Commissioners could move to plug two board vacancies

| Monday, April 21, 2003

Three Collier commissioners this week may attempt to fill two vacancies on the five-member board.

"We are going to try to fill the seats. It's possible," Commissioner Sandra Lamb said.

Lamb said it is a priority that commissioners fill the seats vacated by Leonard Czarnecki and David Puleo.

Puleo resigned from the board April 10, citing health reasons. He had served as the board's president since January 2002.

Czarnecki, the board's former vice-president, resigned at the end of an April 1 board meeting.

Czarnecki said he resigned because the board hasn't accomplished much in 15 months. He said he hadn't planned on running again, anyway.

Lamb, Jackie Burkhart and Mike Grimes are the remaining board members.

"A couple people have expressed interest in doing the job," Lamb said, declining to provide details. The board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Collier Municipal Building, 2418 Hilltop Road.

The board has 30 days from the commissioners' dates of resignation to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat. To retain the seat, the appointee would have to run in the November general election.

James Snarey, 57, of Walkers Mill, is the only candidate officially running for Collier commissioner.

Puleo, Grimes and Czarnecki, who could not be reached for comment, stuck together even on the previous board. Former Commissioners Doreen Ducsay and Frank Palombi lost the election in 2001 to Lamb and Burkhart.

Czarnecki said Lamb and Burkhart have opposed the board on major projects such as setting up a Web page, televising meetings and cleaning Collier's ponds.

Lamb said she had nothing against the majority members.

"It's not that we didn't get along. It's not that (Burkhart and I) didn't vote their way to try to constantly go against them. I have to vote my heart and soul. Everyone should," Lamb said, adding she was totally shocked when Puleo resigned.

"It was a double whammy for the board when (Puleo) left," Lamb said, adding she hadn't talked to Grimes but has heard that he wasn't considering resigning.

"I hope it's true. I hope (Grimes) stays," Lamb said.

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