Council: applications for upcoming vacancy due Dec. 31
Ward 1 vacancy to be filled in January
LANSDALE >> If you’d like to be the next member of Lansdale’s borough council, start updating your resume now.
Council President Denton Burnell announced details Wednesday night of the timeline to fill an upcoming vacancy, when current councilman Steve Malagari steps down to head for Harrisburg.
“I did receive a letter from Mr. Malagari letting me know, letting us know, that at the end of this year he will be formally resigning his position on council,” Burnell said.
“As I’m sure you all know, what that means is we have to go through a process whereby we fill that seat,” he said.
Malagari, a Democrat who has represented the town’s Ward 1 since 2012, defeated fellow councilman Leon Angelichio in the May primary, then topped former Mayor Andy Szekely and Libertarian candidate John Waldenberger on Nov. 6 to be the next representative for the state house’s 53rd District.
With his impending resignation, Burnell said, council is now accepting letters of interest and resumes from residents of Ward 1, who have lived in the borough for at least one calendar year.
“We will be accepting those, either hand-delivered to the office or via email, through 4 p.m. on December 31 — so the end of this month, the end of this year,” Burnell said.
That information will be shared with council members as it is received, he said, so council members can meet and discuss the vacancy with interested candidates.
“You don’t necessarily need to wait until the end of the month. If they come in before, you’ll have an opportunity to contact those individuals,” he said.
Council has yet to formally approve a 2019 meeting schedule, but Burnell said his plan is to open the floor for candidates to say their piece and be formally put forward, with a vote on filling that vacancy, during a council meeting on Jan. 16, 2019.
“We will be able to make nominations, and have a vote here, as we have done in the past,” he said.
The next appointment will be council’s second in less than a year, as current councilman Bill Henning was also appointed to fill a Ward 1 vacancy after prior councilman Jason Van Dame stepped down to take a job with the borough in April. When Henning was appointed in June, a total of seven candidates applied to fill the position, four spoke to council, and four were formally nominated, but only Henning received a formal vote — a process Burnell said Wednesday will likely change in January.
“I will probably say more about that process before we get there, because I know there was some confusion and concern about how that went down,” Burnell said.
“I want to be very transparent about that, how that will happen, so there are no hard feelings, and everybody feels like it was a fair and open process,” he said.
Borough Manager John Ernst prompted Burnell to clarify that any candidate who has previously applied, such as those who sought the vacant seat last summer, will not automatically be considered again.
“I would appreciate, even if you have submitted previously, that you resubmit your application for this position,” Burnell said.
Ward 1 consists of the southern and eastern portion of Lansdale, with boundaries running roughly along East Main Street, a portion of Second Street, Richardson Avenue, York Avenue, Susquehanna Avenue, and Whites Road. A detailed ward map is available on the borough’s website Lansdale.org.
Interested applicants can send their letters of interest and resumes to the borough’s Appointments Committee, 1 Vine Street, Lansdale PA 19446, or by email to borough Recording Secretary Stacie Maile at [email protected]
Council next meets at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the borough municipal building, 1 Vine St.
On this map of Lansdale Borough, Ward One is highlighted in yellow.