Bellwood Borough Council changes look to be complete

Bellwood Borough Council has undergone a lot of changes in the past six months, beginning last November with elections. However, things seem to have settled down, as members prepare for the upcoming months.
Bellwood Borough residents had four seats to fill on the council last November as they visited the polls. Susanne Johnson and Fred Sweigert were on the ballot looking to retain their seats, while council president, Wayne Snare, was missing, having not received enough votes during the primary election. One more seat was available after Don Walker chose not to run for reelection.
Results were announced and Johnson and Sweigert both remained on council, joined by Thomas Lechner and Leonard Cherry.
At that time, Mayor James C. Bonsell was also reelected to his position, receiving 99.7 percent of the votes. Mayor Bonsell first stepped into office in 1983, filling the unexpired term of Paul Hanna. Bonsell held the office for over 10 years, through 1994. He was then elected to office for another term in 2002 and following November’s results, he continues to fill the position.
At the borough’s reorganization meeting in January, Sweigert was elected Council President by a unanimous vote and Johnson was chosen to fill the position of Vice President. Newcomer, Cherry was asked to serve as President Pro Temp. The rest of the council consisted of: Ken Conrad, Chris Creek, John Gunsallus and Lechner.
By February, Council was already faced with the task of filling a vacancy after the resignation of Conrad.
Three letters of interest were received from Earl Garber, Wayne Snare and Donald Walker. At their March meeting, council members voted, resulting in four votes to appoint Walker to the available seat. Snare received one vote.
A resolution was adopted, approving Walker to occupy the vacancy for the remainder of the term, which is two years. With that, Walker returned to the council after a two month absence.
Shortly after Walker’s appointment, another vacancy was left when Gunsallus announced he would be resigning from council. Once again, the board was faced with the task of appointing a new council member.
This time the vacancy went to Eileen “Pinky” Newberry, who ran a last minute write-in campaign in November, receiving 125 votes.
After several months of musical chairs, it looks like Bellwood Borough Council is finally complete.
Earlier this week, members recognized former councilman and Water Authority member, John Gunsallus, for his service to the borough. He was presented with two plaques and a certificate of appreciation at a ceremony in his honor.
Bellwood Borough Council meetings are held on the first Monday of each month, with the exception of July and September, due to the holidays. The July meeting will be held on Monday, July 10 and September’s meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 5. Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. at the Borough Municipal Building, located at 616 Main Street, next to the library.