- Published on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 00:44
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Linda Brubaker was chosen over Cynthia Misicka and Burkett Lyburn to fill the vacant council seat left by Mayor Mike Ham when he took office as mayor this January.
Brubaker received a five-to-one vote from six members of town council last Thursday after interviews with candidates were conducted. Tommy Edwards voted against.
Councilman Jim Chiarello said that the characteristics that prompted him to choose Brubaker over Misika, (former Colonial Beach Planning Commissioner), and Lyburn (former Colonial Beach Vice-Mayor), involved her skills, time commitment, and energy level.
Chiarello said that he was pleased to see candidates with skills, but he was also looking for a willingness to put in time, a high energy level, independent thinking, and a new approach.
Chiarello went on to say, “Of the three candidates, Linda, to me met these areas of concern. She was clear on the issues, and expressed a willingness to put in whatever time was needed. She stressed on the needs of the town, which I felt were real needs (as have many that have been expressed by current council members). Linda would be a team player. Her background would give the council additional views on how we deal with the issues, both short and long term.”
Brubaker told the council, “If chosen, I would pledge to do my best to work with you as a cohesive group, yet not compromise my own opinions. I believe the overall good we can do is unlimited.”
She also said to council, “I have no hidden agenda. The only thing I would like to see our town do is move in the right direction, and that would be progress.”
“I’m exited to work with this new council, whether as an appointed council member or on a committee,” Brubaker said optimistically.
Building the business tax base and tourism are two challenges Brubaker believes the town faces. She thinks that the town needs to re-address the town employees to determine if salaries are justified, and to create clearer job descriptions.
Brubaker also believes that the Colonial Beach Police Department is doing the best job it can, but feels that the town could streamline their operations by relying more on the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office.
Councilman Jim Chiarello asked Brubaker, “If there was a clear majority that felt one way about a particular issue, and you firmly believed you should go in the opposite direction, what would you do?”
Brubaker replied by saying, “There is no ‘I’ in team. I believe that this council needs to be united to the public. Listen to the arguments, and do what is best for the town. And that would be for the majority not to have division.”
Brubaker told Councilwoman Wanda Goforth that utilizing the committee chairs to recruit people to their committees would help foster spreading news to reach the citizens of Colonial Beach. “The council should be out doing grassroots work”, Brubaker said.
Mayor Mike Ham asked Brubaker what her feelings were concerning boardwalk development. Brubaker responded in saying, “We need to follow the revitalization efforts in accordance with the comprehensive plan. As a council, we need to maintain a certain set of standards. I don’t believe in a cookie-cutter design for buildings, however. Bring the boardwalk to either what it was or what it could be.”
The most important issue facing Colonial Beach is its perception of the council to its citizens. Brubaker told the council, “It’s not a joke to make the commitment to serve your town.”
Brubaker wasted no time getting sworn in, and she attended the second half of the work session on Monday as a councilmember.