Coaldale Borough Council welcomed its newest member Tuesday.

Council voted 3-2, with members Steve Tentylo and Mike Doerr absent, to appoint John J. Sherbin Sr. of 233 W. Early Ave., to the seat recently vacated by Nancy Lorchak, who resigned to become borough secretary.

Council members David Yelito, Joseph Hnat and Thomas Keerans voted in favor of Sherbin; Vacancy Board Chairwoman Joanne Melloy and council President Susan Solt opposed.

Sherbin, who was nominated by Yelito, said he is a Democrat, and is a political newcomer.

Sherbin, 82, said he was born and raised in neighboring Lansford, served in the U.S. Navy after high school, and moved to Coaldale from the Philadelphia area seven years ago. He is a retired paper hanger/painter. A widower, Sherbin said he had the time to devote to borough business.

He said that he would be "diligent, honest and do the best I can."

Sherbin won the post over three other applicants: Police Officer Keith Krapf, David Weaver and Brian Hay.

Hnat said council discussed the applicants at a personnel committee Monday, and "narrowed down" the field.

The appointment was not without some controversy. Borough Fire Chief Richard Marek and resident Angela Krapf questioned the timing of the appointment. Lorchak said she submitted her council seat resignation on Dec. 1 and began her secretary-treasurer duties on Dec. 3.

Both Krapf and Marek said that the borough had 30 days from her date of resignation to appoint a replacement.

Solicitor Michael Greek said that the Vacancy Board, composed of council members plus a voter who does not hold elected office, could make the appointment within 15 days.

Melloy volunteered to serve as chair of the Vacancy Board.

After the vote, Sherbin was sworn in by Greek.

The seat will be on the ballot in the May primary election.