Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vacant Easton City Council Seat Expected to Be Filled Tonight

By Christina Georgiou

After interviewing two applicants Tuesday evening to fill the vacancy left by Mike Fleck's resignation earlier this month, Easton City Council is expected to vote on the matter tonight and appoint one of the two to occupy the position until the end of the year.

Stephen White, owner of Delaware
River Books and a former WWNP
steering committee member, answers
questions Tuesday evening posed
by Easton City Council members.
 Former West Ward Neighborhood Partnership steering committee member and Delaware River Books owner Stephen White, and Jim Edinger, who is the Democratic candidate for the seat in November's election and chair for the city's zoning hearing board, each fielded questions from council members, mostly pertaining to West Ward neighborhood issues and their ideas on how the city can be improved.

Both live in the district--White for the past eight years, and Edinger for 28 years--a requirement to fill the vacancy. The empty city council seat is one of four neighborhood-specific posts on the city's governing body.

Despite that only one of them will be appointed, the two were incredibly friendly during the process.

"I don't feel like I'm in competition with you," White said to Edinger after the interviews, adding that he doesn't want to be a politician. "(If appointed) I'm a stop gap."

Jim Edinger
File photo
 Edinger said that despite city council saying it doesn't traditionally appoint active candidates to open seats, since he wants the post permanently, it was worth throwing his name into the ring.

There is no law that says a candidate can't be appointed, said Mayor Sal Panto after the meeting, adding that council members have not had a chance to discuss the attributes of the two applicants, and he doesn't know which of the two men council will choose Wednesday evening.

White said he's happy either way it goes, adding that he's likely to vote for Edinger in the general election.

The only one who seemed unhappy with the situation was Republican city council candidate Kim Yedlosky, who asked city council if she could be considered too.

Yedlosky said she would have applied for the seat, only she thought Fleck's replacement needed to be a Democrat, based on a media article she'd read.

Mayor Sal Panto confirmed that the appointee could be from any political affiliation, but said that since the July 3 deadline had passed, city officials wouldn't consider Yedlosky at this point.

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