Johnstown City Council is ready to make a last-minute attempt to fill a vacancy before the Cambria County court system likely needs to become involved in the process.
The board has scheduled a special meeting for noon on Wednesday. The six members will again discuss selecting a successor to Ann Wilson, a council member who died on Feb. 19.
Last week, the board failed to fill the seat when two candidates – Anthony “Red” Pinizzotto and Fred Mickel – ended tied at three votes apiece.
If a decision cannot be reached within 45 days from Wilson’s passing, then any five electors in the city or council can petition the court to fill the vacancy. The deadline is Thursday.
“In all honesty, we look bad,” said Councilwoman Marie Mock.
Pinizzotto’s supporters – Mock, Frank Janakovic and Rose Howarth – requested the special meeting.
“We want to try to work it out,” Mock said.
“We didn’t want it to go to the court. We don’t want to burden the court system for something that is our job to do.”
Mayor Thomas Trigona, Pete Vizza and William Gentile Jr. voted for Mickel.
“I would say it’s going to be a wait-and-see kind of thing,” Vizza said when asked what he expects to happen on Wednesday.
“At the last meeting, it seemed like everybody was strong, firm in their picks. ... It’s always good when you open dialogue. We’ll see. I’m optimistic that this could be resolved, but I’ve got to see what is offered.”
Pinizzotto, a Democrat, is a former councilman. Mickel, a Republican and former banker, was a close friend of Wilson.
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