SANATOGA PA – Attorney Robert L. “Bob” Brant proved Monday (Jan. 6, 2014) he could run with a gag … even if the gag ran all night long.
Brant, who until this week had served for years as solicitor of the Lower Pottsgrove Zoning Hearing Board, is known for both his quick wit and casual dress. His usual attire for a hearing night – “or any night,” some local wags might say – consisted of dress slacks, an open-collar shirt, and comfortable shoes.
So when Brant showed up facing an audience from behind the conference table during the Board of Commissioners’ meeting Monday, wearing a two-piece suit and bright yellow tie, the potshots began.
“Somebody take a photo,” Scott Exley, president of Bursich Associates, the township engineering firm, said with a smile to two news reporters. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him with a tie before.”
“You tie that yourself?,” someone from the audience chipped in. “Is that a clip-on?,” Commissioner Jonathan Spadt asked later.
To those and other jibes Brant flipped his neckwear, rolled his eyes and responded, “You done?”
Just as his appearance changed, though, so too has Brant’s role.
At the outset of the meeting, he and his Collegeville-based law firm – Robert L. Brant and Associates LLC – were named the township’s new solicitor. He succeeds long-time solicitor and former commissioner R. Kurtz Holloway of the Pottstown firm of Wells Hoffman Holloway Stauffer LLP, who lost the political appointment with a new alignment in board leadership.
Commissioners Bruce Foltz, Stephen Klotz and Shawn Watson all voted for Brant to fill the position, as part of a lengthy list that also included designation of board officers and committees, conference groups, staff positions and professional advisers.
Spadt abstained, after announcing in advance that he knew, liked and respected the legal talents of both Holloway and Brant, and did not want to publicly appear to favor either attorney. Commissioner James Kaiser was absent and did not vote.
Brant, who was raised in Lower Pottsgrove and attended Pottsgrove schools, thanked commissioners for his selection. “I appreciate your confidence,” he said.
The new solicitor is no stranger to local government. He and his firm serve as legal counsel to several other municipalities, zoning hearing boards, and municipal authorities. He specializes in zoning, land use, real estate, municipal and business law, and most recently visited the Board of Commissioners on behalf of clients interested in developing property on the township’s southeast side near the Sanatoga interchange of U.S. Route 422.
Brant is a member of the board of directors of The Victory Bank in Limerick, and the board of trustees at Ursinus College.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Jan. 6 meeting):