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Former member chosen to fill vacant seat on council

A former member has been welcomed back into the fold on Palmerton Borough Council.

On a 4-0 vote, council on Thursday appointed Randy Gursky to fill the vacant seat. Councilman Kris Hoffner and Councilwoman Holly Hausman-Sell were absent.

Gursky was sworn in by recently appointed Mayor William Gallagher, and immediately took his seat on council, which had previously been occupied by Gallagher.

With several stints on council under his belt, Gursky said he was anxious to return.

“I’m happy to be back with the team,” Gursky said. “With COVID, things have changed, and I plan to work on upcoming problems we’re going to face.”

Gursky will serve until Dec. 31, 2021.

He previously served on council from 2004-2011, and also from 2016-2018.

Earlier this month, Gallagher was selected to fill the vacant mayor’s seat.

Gallagher will serve in that capacity until Dec. 31, 2021.

As a result of his appointment, Gallagher resigned his seat on council.

Gallagher was one of four candidates who applied for the mayor post.

Council didn’t take any action at last month’s meeting because it was without its full slate of members.

The mayor’s post opened up after former Mayor Chris Olivia resigned last month in the wake of a family member’s death.

Olivia became mayor in 2012. In 2016, he received the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Mayor of the Year award.

Before his stint as mayor, Olivia spent over a decade on borough council.

Since Olivia’s resignation, council President Terry Costenbader was filling in for the mayor until Gallagher was chosen.

At left, Palmerton Borough Mayor William Gallagher swears in Randy Gursky as the newest member of borough council on Thursday. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS