Tarentum council begins new year with an empty chair
Borough council is beginning the new year with an empty chair.
The seven-member council is one member short after Mike Gutonski resigned Monday from his seat representing the 1st Ward.
Gutonski remains on council as an at-large member. He won both seats in the November election, defeating Tom Grates Jr. in the 1st Ward and Ray Kerr for the at-large position.
The borough is accepting letters of interest for the 1st Ward seat until noon Jan. 13. Any applicant must be a resident of the ward for at least one year and a registered voter.
The appointed member will serve for two years. Council could fill the seat at its next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16.
Kerr, who attended council’s reorganization meeting last night, said he will apply for the 1st Ward seat. Kerr was appointed to the at-large seat in January 2010, replacing Carl Magnetta Jr., who resigned to become mayor.
Grates was appointed in January 2010 to represent the 1st Ward after Gutonski resigned.
District Judge Carolyn Bengel swore in Magnetta as mayor. She also delivered oaths of office to Gutonski, 2nd Ward Councilman Eric Carter, and 3rd Ward Councilman Tim Firko.
Tim Rapp was unanimously re-named council president, while Hugh Fox was re-named vice president.