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Council Taps Bucus to Fill Middle Ward Seat

The Republican says he has no plans to run for election after the term expires.

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.

karlub July 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM
I probably should have added public safety to my list, there, when I was speaking to Tom, and addressed this during the interviews. For the record, folks, you should find me pretty accessible both here, and via social media. If you live in Phoenixville, especially in the Middle Ward, please feel free to follow me on Twitter or Facebook: Facebook: Karl U. Bucus Twitter: Karl_Bucus
Ed Roper July 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Congratulations Karl. I have every confidence you will do a great job at representing me and my neighbors of the middle ward.
Lynette Gray July 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I do not know Bucus from bupkis, but I am very disappointed in our local officials from having the chance to appoint Ms. Swarr and declining to do so. There is a woman who has proven her dedication to our community time and time again. Be it the Christmas House Tour, Forge Theater, the Kiwanis, the YMCA, Phoenixville Town Watch, or any of the other community groups that benefit from Ms. Swarr's active and engaged participation, she has proven to be committed, and to know how to get things done. Shame on you, Council, for rejecting this fine woman.
karlub July 24, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Hopefully you will get a chance, Lynette, to get to know me better. Do you live in the middle ward? Are you one of my new constituents? If so, I hope we get a chance to meet. Heck, I hope we get a chance to meet even if you don't! I was also really happy to see Ms. Swarr put herself forward, and begged her to run for the seat when I finish filling out the remainder of Mr. Guie's term. I will not be running, you see, as it seems important to me that an appointee be as free from partisan political interests as possible.
Janice M. Swarr July 24, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Lynette, I was so touched by your comment. The wonderful part about last evening was that everyone was highly qualified and the atmosphere was so positive and forward-thinking. I was trilled for Mr. Bucus. It was just an honor to even be considered. I wish you all could have been there. I would not have traded that experience for anything. Mr. Bucus is a great businessman and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Council. Kudos to all who turned out and especially, Kudos to our Council! Thanks again, Lynette.
Lynette Gray July 24, 2012 at 08:25 PM
You're welcome, Ms. Swarr. You are a fine example of all that is right in Phoenixville. Many years ago, you approached me at Forge Theater when you saw me crying following a performance - I told you that I had seen that same show (Barnum) with my late husband years back on Broadway, and seeing the local performance reminded me of how much I missed him. You were so kind - you offered me a Kleenex and a glass of water, and stayed with me until I composed myself. I never forgot your kindness to me that evening.
. July 25, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Classy move by Ms. Swarr moving away from the baseless attacks coming from Ms. Gray and taking the high ground. Lynette, you need a therapist, not a Phoenixville Borough Council person. Enough said
harry finster July 26, 2012 at 04:38 AM
a bunch of hicks run a small town into the ground

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