By Mary Spicer
In accordance with Pennsylvania’s Optional Third Class City Charter Law, under which the City of Meadville operates, city council consists of five members, including the mayor, elected at large by city voters during regular municipal elections to serve four-year terms.
In Meadville, the position of mayor and two council seats are up for election during the current municipal election cycle. The two remaining council seats will be up for election during the 2015 municipal election.
However, one of the seats that will be decided in 2015 is also on the ballot this year, when voters will select an occupant for the remaining two years of the term. This seat was once occupied by one-term Republican Councilmember Jason Amory, who chose to not seek re-election in the 2011 election. Under ordinary circumstances, that seat would have been occupied by Chandler Mason, who won a place on the Democratic column in the May 2011 primary and the seat itself in the general election the following November. Two days after the election, however, Mason sent City Clerk Janet Niedermeyer an email indicating that he would not be able to serve.
After waiting for the period required under the state’s Third Class City Code, council interviewed applicants for the position. In early February 2012, Bob Langley was selected to fill the vacant seat until a permanent replacement could be selected during the 2013 municipal election.
In the upcoming primary, all voters will be asked to vote for not more than two candidates for four-year terms and one candidate for the two years remaining in Mason’s term.
Republican voters will find only one name listed on the primary ballot; Nancy Mangilo-Bittner, who is seeking re-election to a four-year term.
On the Democratic primary ballot, two names, incumbent H. LeRoy Stearns and Sean P. Donahue, who also applied to fill Mason’s vacant seat, are listed as candidates for the two four-year terms. Incumbent Bob Langley’s name appears on the primary ballot for the remaining two years of Mason’s term.
Meadville Mayor Christopher Soff is running unopposed on the Democratic primary ballot; no candidates submitted the 100 signatures necessary for a slot on the Republican primary ballot.
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.