A total of 18 Johnstown residents expressed interest in filling a vacancy on Johnstown City Council.
Monday was the deadline for those wishing to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Ann Wilson in February.
Those interested will be brought before a panel of three Cambria County judges for questioning to determine their degree of interest and leadership ability, court officials said Tuesday.
Interviews have been scheduled for 12 of the candidates and are set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Interviews for the other six will be arranged, Judge Patrick Kiniry said.
Kiniry was encouraged by the number of candidates.
“It’s a positive thing to know that that many people want to make their municipality a better place,” he said.
Councilman Frank Janakovic shares the judge’s enthusiasm.
“I think that’s wonderful to see that many people interested in City Council and the city. That’s encouraging,” he said.
Council had 45 days to name a replacement, but time ran out after efforts to agree on a replacement failed twice when members split 3-3.
Because of the stalemate, Kiniry said, the decision was made to encourage others interested in the seat to let the court know.
“We felt it was the fairest way of doing it,” he said. “We felt it was best to be looking at the people, it’s the best way to be fair.”
In mid-April, President Judge Timothy Creany appointed judges Linda Fleming and David Tulowitzki to join him on the panel to fill the position.
The position will last only until the end of the year.
Kiniry said the panel is not ready to release the names of the applicants.
The list is believed to include many of those seeking the nomination in the spring primary election and others who have served on council in the past.
Kiniry said the judicial panel will make an appointment as quickly as possible, hopefully before the May 21 election.
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