After their first attempt to appoint a new Middle Ward representative on (albeit an entertaining one), the Phoenixville Borough Council went back to the drawing board on Monday night and appointed Karl Bucus by a 4-3 vote to fill the seat.
“I know he’s been in town for quite a while. I know he’s been active. I know him and I just think he’ll provide some good input as far as finances and taxes [go],” said council president Richard Kirkner after his body’s newest member was sworn in.
Bucus was selected from a group of four candidates to finish the term of ; who left the council on June 30 to move to Lancaster City. His term ends in December 2013 and Bucus said he has no plans to run for election at its conclusion.
The Phoenixville Republican committeeman says his focus will be on fiscal matters.
“I’ll be sitting here for two budgetary cycles. And that will be the main part of this job. Just trying to get though the finance procedure for two years. Minimizing tax increases without gutting services is going to be the key part,” Bucus said.
When asked to elaborate on his service priorities, he said he wants to stick to the basics.
“Water, trash, sewer, and snow. And if we can manage it, taking out a tree here and there if it’s running into somebody’s house.”
Bucus added that his hope, as a Republican serving out a Democrat’s term, is that he won’t be viewed through the prism of his party.
“If when I’m done, everybody can say, ‘I couldn’t tell what party he was in,’ then I’ll be happy,” he said between pulls from his tobacco pipe.
Kirkner, who voted yes on Bucus, downplayed the significance of Bucus’ party. He said he isn’t worried about pushback from borough residents.
“I’ve been through that before. I’ve done that before,” he said, adding, “I’m a big boy.”
Council vice president Michael Speck, who was among the three who voted against Bucus, explained that his vote shouldn’t be construed as opposition to Bucus’ appointment, but rather support for another of the candidates, who he declined to identify.
43-year Phoenixville resident Jan Swarr, Phoenixville Area School District substitute teacher Renee Halloran, and attorney Richard Breuer also interviewed to fill the seat.