Update on the Open Borough Council Seat for Ward 1

Last week during a workshop meeting of Borough Council, Borough Council accepted the resignation of Raj Gupta (D), who has elected to represent Ward 1 in 2011.  During the meeting the borough’s solicitor stated that Gupta has moved out of the Borough. Gupta was not in attendance.

The resignation came as a complete surprise to many people we have spoken with.  One elected official in Conshy stated that the seat was basically “abandoned,” there was not even a formal resignation letter (we are working on confirming this) and that he didn’t know until everyone else did.

Gupta has not responded to a phone call or email.  He has also not communicated in mass with the residents of Ward 1 as to why he resigned. This is as of 8:23 a.m. on Wednesday.

If you are interested in filling the seat, click here for how to apply.  You have until tomorrow.

Things to consider about the make-up of Borough Council and Ward 1:

  • Over the past few years there have been what we would consider four newer residents elected to Borough Council (Paul McConnell, Carolyn Maye, Raj Gupta and Matt Ryan).  50% have resigned
  • The people who will interview and vote on the people who submitted their qualifications to fill the seat include five Democrats and one Republican.  There has been some disagreement on the approvals involving the apartments on the riverfront in the ward, but all have supported the redevelopment of the borough-owned properties (the hotel, new office tower, restaurant in old fire house and eight story parking deck) in the ward
  • The traffic engineer hired by the borough to conduct a traffic study stated that the redevelopment of the borough-owned properties will have the greatest impact on traffic compared to the other proposed/potential developments over the next 10 years

One person, Karen Tutino, confirmed to us that she was going to submit a letter to be considered.  She previously lived in Ward 6 and ran as a Democrat against incumbent Bob Stokley (R) in 2009 and lost.  We heard a couple other names that were considering it, but have not been able to confirm.

So what will happen next is that Borough Council will interview those who have submitted their qualifications on Monday, March 17th. A vote will then be taken on Wednesday, March 19th at the regular Borough Council meeting.