2009-08-13 / Front Page

16 Applicants Seek Vacant Commissioner Position

Court seeks public comment up to Aug. 20
By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

Sixteen people are in the running to replace former Fulton County Commissioner Daniel E. Swain.

Prospective commissioners include a realtor, a retired high school coach, past candidates for county commissioner and a Fulton County Medical Center board member.

Public comment on commissioner applicants for the $38,391 a year office can be made up to Aug. 20, according to Franklin- Fulton Court of Common Pleas President Judge Douglas W. Herman's office.

Republicans who submitted letters of interest and resumes include Teresa M. Booth, Mc- Connellsburg; William H. Clevenger, McConnellsburg, past candidate for commissioner; Danny M. Crouse, Needmore, Southern Fulton School Board director; Craig Cutchall, Harrisonville, retired Forbes Road teacher and coach; David P. Cutchall, Harrisonville, business owner; Tyler Horton, Mc- Connellsburg; Tonya K. House, Fort Littleton, tax collecter and FCMC board member; Charles Patrick Kelso, McConnellsburg, FCMC employee; Herbert H. Koontz, Warfordsburg; Ricky Allen Leese, Needmore, farmer and former county auditor; Sidney M. McConahy, McConnellsburg; L. Allen Morton, Needmore, past candidate for commissioner and past Southern Fulton School Board member; Ronald L. Richards, Big Cove Tannery, realtor and past candidate for commissioner; Chanin D. Rotz-Mountz, Hustontown, Fulton County News staff writer; Virginia A. Smith, Warfordsburg; and Sandra R. Stenger, Mc- Connellsburg.

Swain, a Republican, resigned in July after more than 13 years in office to assume the appointed position of county clerk that was left vacant after longtime chief clerk Dick Wible announced his retirement in June.

Swain was re-elected in 2007 to a third term, which expires in December 2011.

Section 501(b) of the County Code stipulates that a vacancy in the office of county commissioner be filled, for the balance of the unexpired term, by the court of common pleas of the county in which the vacancy occurred by the appointment of a registered voter of the county who is a member of the same political party as the commissioner whose place is to be filled.

The last time a replacement was appointed to the three-person board of commissioners was in 1987 after the August death of commissioner Cecil Fraker, a Republican. That commissioner vacancy attracted four applicants. The late Jack M. Clark of Hustontown was appointed to the office in early September by the then president judge John W. Keller.

Although there is no deadline to fill the vacancy, Judge Herman told the news in mid-July that he would make his decision as soon as possible following the Aug. 6 deadline for applications. Herman also said then that he would likely consult the county commissioners and Republican Party officials regarding the appointment.

Herman was not available to speak with the "News"on Tuesday when the names of the 16 applicants were released.

The court will receive comments on these applicants up to Aug. 20. Herman said in July he was seeking public comments to make the selection process as "transparent" as possible.

Comments should be sent to Douglas W. Herman, President Judge, Judge's Chambers, Fulton County Courthouse, 201 North Second Street, Mc- Connellsburg, PA 17233

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