LINESVILLE — The first opportunity Christopher R. Seeley had to vote in an election was Tuesday. And Seeley voted for himself after pulling the curtain shut.

Some 144 other residents did the same as the 18-year-old Democrat won the position of Linesville mayor, according to unofficial results, against long-time Linesville Borough Council member Kevin McGrath, who received 76 votes.

“The people of Linesville have spoken,” said Seeley, a lifelong resident of the borough and a senior at Linesville High School. “They are able to trust their police and security to my generation.”

The new mayor, who just turned 18 in September and was unable to vote for himself in the spring primary election, will join a council with the youngest councilman in Crawford County. David Hoogstad Jr., 19, was appointed earlier this year at age 18.

Seeley was surprised to win by such a large margin.

“Unfortunately, my opponent didn’t do a lot of campaigning,” he said.

McGrath, who has been council president for the past few years and served in council off and on for more than 15 years, said job obligations interfered with his ability to do campaigning.

McGrath, who also previously worked in the borough as streets commissioner, plans to “take time off” from serving on council.

“I’ll still be around,” said McGrath, when asked if he would be available if council had any questions. “It will be interesting to see what the new council is made up of. ... I wish (Seeley) good luck.”

Seeley said he wouldn’t mind seeing McGrath back on council as president, mentioning he does a fantastic job and is very fiscally responsible. “We need that fiscal watchdog in our borough and that fiscal watchdog is Kevin McGrath.”

Seeley’s new job as mayor entails the management and maintenance of Linesville Police Department along with public safety concerns. The mayor also serves as a tie-breaking vote on council. The seat was previously occupied by Mayor Tim Uzarski, who didn’t seek re-election because he lives outside the borough.

Seeley said he ran to expand the duties of mayor.

“My biggest issue was the fact that the status quo for mayor’s office is pretty low,” he said, mentioning that he would like to work on community redevelopment and promotion in addition to his other duties.

While he’s not promising anything, Seeley said he would like to get the ball rolling on developing a regional police department with Pine Township so that another full-time officer could be added to the department, which consists of one full-time officer and two part-time ones.

He said he’s yet to address this issue with Pine because he didn’t know if he would win the election. With the new joint sewage plant being developed between the borough and the township, Seeley said many businesses would be attracted to Pine because of its low taxes if they would only have the police protection a joint department could provide.

From the borough side, he said one of the major complaints he’s heard from residents is that there is nobody to reach at the police department in an emergency if an officer is out on patrol. Chief George Davis has recommended in an emergency that residents contact 911.

Seeley also said the department will need to continue to work on curbing drug problems in the area.

When asked how he’d handle the disciplining of officers, some more than twice his age, Seeley replied, “All three officers are willing to work with me.”

Eric Reinagel can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at

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