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Board Set To Select Watson Successor Tonight

SANATOGA PA – “Make a choice” time arrives tonight (Monday, Oct. 5, 2015) for the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners.

Board members, meeting at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd.,  are expected to approve one of five candidates they interviewed last week to join their ranks and fill a vacancy left by the resignation last month of Commissioner Shawn Watson. The board itself pressured Watson into leaving after several public revelations about financial and legal issues.

The meeting is free to attend and open to the public. One indication commissioners have tentatively agreed on a Watson successor could be the appearance of a local magisterial district justice, usually either Edward C. Kropp Sr. or Maurice H. Saylor, to swear the chosen winner into office.

If the board vote does not yield a clear majority, then a tie would be broken by the township’s single-member Vacancy Board.

During a public meeting Wednesday (Sept. 30), the board repeatedly asked the same seven questions of all five:

  • Ray Lopez, currently Lower Pottsgrove’s emergency management coordinator, and president of the Ringing Hill Fire Company;
  • Justin Valentine, currently president of the Pottsgrove School District Board of School Directors;
  • Scott Fulmer, former school board president, currently a member of the township Planning Commission, and formerly a member of its Zoning Hearing Board;
  • Charles Nippert Jr., a chemical engineering professor at Widener University who is running for election to the board; and
  • Robert Franciose, who was a vocal critic of Watson and who since has been a regular audience member at board meetings.

Commissioners asked each candidate about past experience they hoped to bring to the commission, their goals for the future in working on the board, and whether they would run for election once Watson’s unexpired term was completed.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Oct. 5 meeting):

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