The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 31, 2014

Job switches begin in Bedford County

BEDFORD — Job changes abounded this week in Bedford County, where vacancies in the state House of Representatives and on the board of county commissioners were filled and a longtime agency administrator retired.

Barry Dallara was appointed Thursday by President Judge Thomas Ling to fill the county commissioner vacancy created by the Jan. 31 resignation of Steve Howsare.

Dallara, 68, of the Pleasantville area, is a retired educator who spent several years as superintendent of Forest Hills School District in St. Michael in the 1990s. A Republican, he ran unsuccessfully ran for Bedford commissioner in 2011.

Howsare, a Republican commissioner for 10 years, will become executive director of the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission on Monday, filling a vacancy created by Edward Silvetti’s retirement.

Silvetti, 65, retired Friday after serving as executive director of the six-county economic development and planning group for 20 years.

And in a special election Tuesday, voters overwhelming elected Bedford minister Jesse Topper to fill the 78th district House seat left vacant by the Sept. 6 death of Rep. Dick Hess.

Topper, 32, a Republican, will be sworn in Feb. 10 in Harrisburg to represent all of Bedford and Fulton counties and a small portion of Huntingdon County, according to his website. He won the special election by a 4-1 margin.

Following Hess’ practice, Topper will have offices at 133 Richard St. in Bedford and 314 Lincoln Way East, Suite A, in McConnellsburg, Fulton County.

The Bedford office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and the McConnellsburg office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Kathy Mellott covers Bedford County for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at

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