Dale B. Traupman is appointed to fill Lehighton council vacancy
Lehighton Borough Council has filled a councilor vacancy, but the action didn't come easily.
It took three votes before Traupman was approved - by unanimous vote - to a two-year term. He was one of four candidates for the position.
Traupman is a member of the Libertarian Party. He said in his letter for consideration, "It is important to state, however, that any opinions or decisions I would offer or make regarding the borough would be based on my judgement and analysis of the benefits and risks and the impact on the community. In simple terms, I don't play party politics."
The vacancy occurred because in last year's elections, Donald Rehrig ran for both council and mayor. He won both races, but couldn't hold both seats. As a result, he resigned the council post.
Others seeking it besides Traupman were Lamont Hunsicker, a former councilman; Melissa Moser, and Opal N. Snyder.
Initially, Melissa Ebbert made a motion to appoint Hunsicker while Darryl Arner made the nomination for Traupman.
A roll-call for Hunsicker ended in a 3-3 tie, with Ebbert, Grant Hunsicker, and Scott Rehrig voting "yes," while Arner, Bessie Bauchspies, and John Wayne Bird opposed.
On a roll-call for Traupman, voting went the complete opposite.
Mayor Rehrig was told he could break the tie and would have 15 days to do so, but responded that he would prefer the council decide itself who it wants as a member.
Attorney James Nanovic, solicitor for the borough, said if the stalemate isn't broken in 15 days, then the Vacancy Board would have to settle the matter.
The council went into an executive session and when it returned, another vote was taken. This time all six solons voted for Traupman.
Traupman is presently vice chairman of the Lehighton Planning Commission.
He said he has resided in the borough for more than five years and has become involved with the Lehighton Downtown Improvement Committee.
He previously served as treasurer of the Government Study Commission for Hanover Township, Lehigh County; was on the council of Hanover Township, and served on the planning commission of Springfield Township, York County.