Council Applicants Sought After Lower Saucon Councilman Resigns

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Editor’s Note: An earlier published version of this story incorrectly said Ryan Stauffer has accepted a position outside the state. The position he’s accepted is in Pennsylvania. We apologize for the error.

Lower Saucon Township Council has a vacant seat following the resignation of council vice president Ryan Stauffer at the conclusion of Wednesday night’s meeting.

Stauffer, an attorney and a Democrat, told his colleagues he’s accepted a position working for the government and will no longer be able to fulfill his duties as a councilor. His resignation leaves a vacancy for a two-year seat; the unexpired portion of his term, which runs through the end of 2021.

Before resigning from his post as council vice president, Stauffer nominated fellow councilman George Gress to succeed him in the position for the remainder of the year, in a motion which was approved 5-0. Gress was originally appointed to council in December 2018 after former councilman Glenn Kern resigned due to poor health shortly before he passed away. That appointment will end Dec. 31, and as things stand Gress will be unseated, since he did not win a four-year seat in the council election earlier this month or run for the two-year seat created by Kern’s resignation.

However, there is nothing to prevent Gress or one of the other unsuccessful council candidates from applying to fill the vacancy Stauffer’s resignation has created in order to remain on council.

In fact, there will likely be two opportunities to do that, since it’s expected that council will have to fill another two-year term in early January; the two-year term that was created by Kern’s resignation.

This unusual circumstance was created when Republican newcomer Jason Banonis was declaredthe unofficial winner of both the special two-year seat created by Kern’s resignation and a four-year seat. Since Banonis cannot accept both seats, he will have to decide which term he will serve. If he chooses to serve the four-year term, council will then have to appoint someone to fill the two-year seat. The end result is that council will probably need to fill two separate two-year vacancies over the course of two months.

Interested candidates for the first vacancy–created by Stauffer’s resignation–should send resumes and letters of interest to Township Manager Leslie Huhn, either by postal mail to 3700 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18015, or by email to manager@lowersaucontownship.org. They must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6. All candidates should include an email address in order to receive any additional information. Candidates must also attend one or two council meetings, dates and times to be provided, at which time council will interview applicants. The successful applicant will serve on council for the remainder of Stauffer’s term, which is approximately two years. Finally, all candidates must be at least 18 years old, a current resident of Lower Saucon Township for at least one year, and a registered voter.

Lower Saucon Township Council regularly meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Lower Saucon Town Hall, 3700 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, Pa. The next council meeting will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4. Meetings are open to the public and the draft agendas can be found online beforehand by visiting LowerSauconTownship.org.

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