BROOKVILLE — The Jefferson County Commissioners explained the appointment process that is being used to fill the seat that will be left vacant next month by Commissioner Jack Matson once his resignation takes effect.

Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik clarified that while there is a process being followed to choose and narrow down interested candidates for the position, according to the law, Judge John Foradora of the common pleas court has the power to appoint whoever he wants to the position.

“Any casual vacancy in the office of county commissioners shall be filled, for the balance of the unexpired term, by the court of common pleas of the county in which such vacancy shall occur by the appointment of a registered elector of the county who was a member of the same political party as the commissioner whose place is to be filled at the time the commissioner was elected,” according to the PA General Assembly website.

Matson explained that since he is a Republican, the appointment of a new commissioner is being handled by the Republican Committee of Jefferson County. The party requested all interested parties to submit a letter of interest in the position.

The committee received 14 letters of interest, and will be giving each person five minutes to make their case before the committee. From there, they will narrow it down to three candidates to present to the judge.

“The committee will vote and those top three names will go to the judge, and then it’s up to the judge to decide ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘let’s do it again,’” said Commissioner Herb Bullers.

The appointed person will fill the remainder of Matson’s term, and will be able to run for election in 2023 for the term beginning in 2024.

Emergency Management Director Tracy Zents gave a brief COVID-19 update, saying the county still seems to be doing well with low numbers.

“June we ended the month with 16, and July to date new cases is one, so our efforts did pay off, it is working,” Zents said.

He did say the Department of Health had to correct vaccine numbers, as the department had over counted by about 500,000 for various reasons.

“Even though our official response is closed out, we’re still continuing to monitor that and monitor any of the variants that come out just to be prepared so if something else would transpire we’re ready to go,” Zents said.

Matson asked if the department is keeping track of the delta variant separately, but Zents said they are not reporting this separately. He said there is not any cases of the delta variant as far as he knows, but the department is not specifying which variant the cases are as they are reported.

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