New mayors in 2 boroughs
The mayors of Nesquehoning and Lansford went down in defeat during the general Election balloting on Tuesday in the Panther Valley area.
Nesquehoning Mayor K. Tony Walck lost a three-person race for the right to continue as the town's top elected official, while his wife, Rose Sniscak Walck, also fell victim to a challenged race.
In Lansford, Mayor Ronald Hood was defeated as well by borough voters, who, like Nesquehoning voters, also decided a borough council race.
Meanwhile, there were no contested races for positions in Summit Hill Borough nor the Panther Valley School District Board of Education.
Mayor Walck faced opposition from two candidates, including the winner, Samuel J. Kitchko, who entered the race this summer as an Independent candidate.
Kitchko easily outdistanced Walck and Republican Michael Frey, collecting 554 votes, compared to Walck's 191 and Frey's 61.
Also losing out yesterday was Walck's wife, who lost her bid for re-election to a four-year term on the borough council.
Incumbent Councilman David A. Hawk topped the balloting in the four-person race for three four-year terms. Hawk, who previously was a registered Republican, ran as an Independent and colledcted 513 votes. Michael T. Sniscak, a Democrat, finished second with 453 votes, two ahead of the 451 that incumbent Democrat Mary A. Fox garnered in winning re-election to the third available position. Rose Walck lost out with 285 votes.
Democratic Tax Collector Patricia R. Vito was unopposed in running for re-election to another four-year term. She received 703 token votes.
Mayor Hood, a Republican, lost his bid for another four-year term of office to Democrat James Romankow.
The latter received 319 votes to outdistance Hood's 206 votes.
Romankow, 37, sought the office, he said early Wednesday, "because you can't make any changes by sitting and watching. You have to get involved. There are a lot of things going wrong, a lot of bad publicity, and we need to fix it.
"I've been here 35 years. I used to hang out with my friends here as a kid. But it's not like that anymore. I can't let my kids outside. I want to try to make it safer," he said.
Romankow said drug abuse is a troubling issue in Lansford.
"It's a big city problem in a small town," he said. "I plan to work with the police department to try and get that straightened out."
Romankow also said he wants to be available to residents.
"If there's a problem, I want people to be able to talk with me about it to see how we can address it. If there's a problem going on and we don't know about it, we can't fix it," he said.
In the borough council race, newcomer Colin Jones, a Democrat who appeared on both ballots, was the top vote-getter with 442 votes. He was one of three persons to win seats, the others being Republican Martin Ditsky, who had 316 votes, and Democrat John Williams, who finished third with 265 votes.
Incumbent Councilman Leonard Kovach, a Democrat, lost his seat. He finished fourth with 192 votes.
Tax Collector Daniel J. Wynn, a Democrat, topped Lansford's ballot with 481 votes. He was unopposed as he sought re-election to another four-year term of office.
There were no contested races in Summit Hill Borough yesterday. Five Democratic officeholders all collected complimentary votes in winning re-election to their respective posts.
They include Tax Collector Alice Kane, who received 576 votes, and Mayor Paul R. McArdle, 535 votes.
In the borough council race, William J. O'Gurek Jr., John O'Gurek and William H. Chapman were re-elected without opposition to four-year terms, and Gregory V. Kosciolek was returned to the board for a two-year term.
William O'Gurek received 503 votes, John O'Gurek, 416, Chapman, 403, and Kosciolek, 499.
Panther Valley board
There were no contests in the Panther Valley school board balloting, which includes the towns of Lansford, Nesquehoning and Summit Hill in Carbon County and Coaldale in Schuylkill County. Four candidates sought fouor four-year terms, including incumbents Brian J. Dolena, Irene A. Genther and John Williams, whose names appeared on both ballots, and newcomer Daniel J. Heaney, who was a Democratic candidate.
Dolena topped the ballot with 1,601 votes, followed by Genther with 1,443, Heaney, 1,382, and Williams, 1,340.