Gensemer fills vacant seat on Denver Council

By on January 4, 2012

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Michael Gensemer was appointed to fill the vacant seat on Denver Borough Council at the Jan. 3 reorganizational meeting. The position was reduced from a four-year to a two-year term because it became an appointed rather than elected office.

The Nov. 8 election identified two-thirds of the new members of Denver Borough Council. Republican candidates Walter Fink and Michael Cohick were on the ballot and were elected to serve on borough council for the next four years. Since no one sought the third seat, results of the write-in vote would determination of who would fill it.

In accordance with the rules of the board of elections, borough manager Michael Hession contacted the 11 residents who received at least one write-in vote to come to the meeting. Two were in attendance at the meeting, at which point Allan Meckley withdrew his name. Council decided to make the vote in the current open session rather than wait until the next meeting. Gensemer, who was the other resident attending, was appointed with no objections.

"I worked for the department of labor and industry first as a building inspector and as a regional supervisor, and the last six years I was director of field operations," said Gensemer.

In this capacity he was not permitted to be on borough council. He retired from the state service approximately two-and-a-half years ago. Now that he is working for a private inspection company he would like to serve in this capacity.

In doing the sales and marketing, Gensemer gets around to the small communities.

"I think there is pride in community… I see how frustrating it is when they can’t get a quorum," he said. "I’ve lived in this town all my life and would like to be a part of this."

The nomination and election of council officers also took place at the meeting. Walter Fink was elected as president.

Rodney Redcay and Nathan Grubb were both nominated for vice president. After a tie, Mayor Adam Webber cast his vote for Redcay, who was elected for the office. Grubb was chosen to serve as president pro tem, who would preside in the absence of the president and vice president if there is a quorum of borough council present.

Barbara Palm offered to take the position of vacancy board chair, open to a registered voter. Council accepted. This is a position this council has never had before.

"It’s not likely that it will be used, but it could be important if needed," said Hession.

Several other new appointments were made. Barbara Artz was re-appointed as borough administrative assistant/treasurer, and the title of assistant secretary was added to her role.

"This is in the event that something happens that I am not here," said Hession.

Also, William Walters was appointed to a five-year term on the Denver Borough Shade Tree Commission, and Kevin Brandt was chosen to fill the vacant term on the Denver Borough Zoning Hearing Board.

In other news:

Bernell Burkholder presented an application for a variance from Section 200-18-B, which included a conversion to apartments, provided that the minimum lot area is at least 4,000 square fee per dwelling unit after the conversion, to develop a second apartment on the property located at 227 Main St., Denver.

Burkholder purchased the three-floor property in May. He only plans on finishing two floors and there will be no addition of doors to the front. He will be working only with what is existing.

Council approved his suggestion and it will be reviewed at the next meeting of the planning commission on Jan. 10. More DENVER, page A10

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