CONNEAUT LAKE — There was a bit of controversy as Dick Holabaugh was re-elected president of Conneaut Lake Borough Council at a reorganizational meeting this week at the town hall.
Holabaugh was nominated by Mario deBlasio, a new member of council. John Chuey seconded the nomination.
The vote which followed ended with a 3-3 tie with deBlasio, Chuey and Holabaugh voting for Holabaugh and Mike Krepps, Penny Monahan and Bill Eldridge voting against the nomination.
At that point, Mayor John O'Grady broke the tie, voting for Holabaugh.
Eldridge objected to the legality of the vote since, according to past practice, Holabaugh never voted for himself. Matt Jorden, solicitor, said according to the borough code, it was legal for Holabaugh to vote for himself.
Then it was suggested that there was no opportunity for anyone to nominate anyone else.
After a lengthy discussion, it was decided to take a re-vote.
DeBlasio again nominated Holabaugh and Eldridge nominated Monahan. The voted ended in another tie with Eldridge, Krepps and Monahan supporting Monahan and the others voting for Holabaugh. O'Grady then broke the tie with a vote for Holabaugh.
Chuey and Monahan were nominated for vice president with the same results — a tie with the same people voting together. Chuey was re-elected vice president when O'Grady broke the tie.
Monahan was named president protem, which means she would preside if both Holabaugh and Chuey missed a meeting.
Officers re-elected were Christine Morian, secretary-treasurer and open records officer; Marquette Savings, depository; Jorden, solicitor; The Meadville Tribune, newspaper for legal advertisements; McGilll, Power and Bell, auditors; O'Grady and Holabaugh, representatives for the Conneaut Lake Regional Police Commission; Holabaugh, Chuey and Morian, authorized to sign checks; and Jim Ross and Billy Paris, members of the vacancy board.
Another lengthy discussion followed regarding naming members for the various borough committees.
DeBlasio brought up the subject and Holabaugh, who appoints the committees, said he had ideas but wanted to wait until next month when a new council member is chosen.
Paris, who was elected to a seat on council at the November election, had notified council he does not intend to serve as council member because of job demands.
Applications are being taken to the borough town hall from anyone interested in becoming the final council member. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, a resident of Conneaut Lake borough and a registered voter. Applications will be taken throughout January.
DeBlasio and the new member to be appointed in February will be put on committees with experienced members.
Committees are comprised of three council members who meet and make recommendations to council regarding decisions about those committees.
A discussion then was conducted as to whether the mayor could attend any of the meetings as a non-voting member. It was decided he could.
Fees for various services were approved with the amount to coincide with surrounding municipalities.
The meeting began with O'Grady swearing in the newly elected members — Monahan, Chuey and deBlasio. Both Monahan and Chuey were re-elected.
Holabaugh, who has been on council 34 years and president for many of those, said before the adjournment he would do all he could to see that meetings run as smoothly as possible. He said council could get a lot done in the next year and that there would be no animosity between council.
The meeting adjourned after one hour and 25 minutes.