CLARION – With the new year nearly a week underway, Clarion County Commissioners jumped back into their official duties by hosting their reorganization meeting for 2020.
Commissioners Ted Tharan, Wayne Brosius and Ed Heasley met Monday morning, Jan. 6, to elect officers, make other appointments and set meeting dates for the new year.
The first order of business was to elect a chairman for the Board of Commissioners.
Heasley nominated Tharan, who has filled the post for the past four years. With no second, the motion died.
Brosius then nominated himself. Seconding the motion, Tharan referred to “tradition” as his reason for supporting the nomination.
According to Tharan, the tradition in Clarion County has been that the person who garners the most votes in the general election serves as chairman of the board. He pointed out further that “it’s not a law, just a tradition.”
In the ensuing unanimous vote, Heasley too noted that his affirmative vote was also “out of tradition, but not leadership qualities.”
Brosius, a Republican who was the top vote-getter in the November election, assumed the position of chairman and continued with the meeting.
Tharan, also a Republican, was elected as board vice chairman and Heasley, a Democrat, as secretary.
In addition, the commissioners appointed Taylor Kriebel as county chief clerk/county administrator and Clarion-based law firm Logue and Urik PC as assistant solicitor for the county.
A motion to appoint Christopher Gabriel of the Sewickly-based law firm, Cafardi Ferguson Wyrick Weis & Stotler LLC as county solicitor was tabled pending receipt and agreement of a contract. It was also added that the county can use Gabriel in the interim on a per-diem basis as needed.
The commissioners also agreed to continue holding their meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 10 a.m. in the Administration Building conference room — with the exception of three Wednesday meetings: March 25, April 29 and Nov. 25.
Salary Board meetings will be held the second and fourth Tuesdays, while the Retirement Board is included in the last meeting of each month.
Commissioner work sessions will be held the first and third Tuesdays at 9 a.m. in the conference room — with exceptions included Thursday, Aug. 20 and Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Following the election of officials, the commissioners approved the 2020 lists of boards and assignments on which each commissioner will serve.
Brosius will work with county offices including the jail, public defender’s office, tax claim, transportation, veteran’s affairs, open records, and the prothonotary, sheriff and treasurer’s offices.
He will also serve on the Airport Authority, and work with the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission, Conservation District, Library Association, Penn State Extension, the Workforce Investment Act Board and more.
Tharan will work with the county’s buildings and grounds/parks department, the commissioners’ staff/HR, Public Safety, Human Services, Information Technology, Open Records, Courts and District Attorney’s Office.
In addition, he will also serve on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board, the Clarion County Fair Board, economic development, the Northwest Commission and more.
Rounding out the year’s duties, Heasley was appointed to work with Assessment, the Central Accounting Office, Elections Office, GIS, Planning, Open Records, County Auditors, Coroner’s Office and Register and Recorder’s Office.
Heasley will also serve on the Child Death Review Team, Community Action, Emergency Food and Shelter Board, Family Net Advisory Board, MH/DD Advisory Board, Planning Commission and more.
“I’m looking forward [to the next four years],” Brosius said. “We have a lot of good things to come.”
• The county’s Prison Board will continue to meet on the second Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. in the conference room or at the jail.
• Records Improvement meetings were scheduled May 21 and Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. in the conference room.
• The commissioners also approved the following election days: Primary Election Day, April 28; Election Return Board, May 1; General Election Day, Nov. 3 and Election Return Board, Nov. 6.
• Resolution No. 1 of 2018 was also approved, which allows any member of the Board of Commissioners to “sign any and all agreements, contracts or grants for the county on behalf of all county-related offices and departments.”