Johnstown City Councilman Frank Janakovic is going to receive some mayoral training before likely taking over the job full time in January.
On Wednesday, he was selected as the city’s new deputy mayor, filling a role left vacant when the previous position holder, Councilwoman Ann Wilson, died in February. Janakovic recently won the Democratic Party’s nomination in this year’s mayoral race. Since no Republican will be on the general election ballot, he is almost certainly going to become Johnstown’s next mayor.
“Hopefully, it will prep me for hopefully becoming mayor come January after the general election if the voters vote for me,” Janakovic said.
Council selected Janakovic by a vote of 4-3.
Along with getting his own vote, Janakovic received support from Rose Howarth, Marie Mock and Joseph Taranto. Councilman Pete Vizza collected votes from himself, William Gentile Jr. and Mayor Thomas Trigona.
“I’m pleased that I got the nomination and the votes for it,” Janakovic said.
Picking Janakovic was the first vote made by Taranto, a new councilman.
“I thought, since he was running for the mayor position and he is being unopposed apparently, it would be good to have him in,” Taranto said.
Janakovic added, “I think the new council member is a pretty neutral person. He had a choice to make up his own mind in who he decided to vote for. It could have been the other way too, so I appreciate his vote.”
Taranto was the deciding vote on what has been a deadlocked council as of late.
Following Wilson’s death, the board had 45 days to fill her vacancy on council. The board voted twice, tying 3-3. Janakovic, Howarth and Mock supported Anthony “Red” Pinizzotto during the first vote and then, a few days later, turned their backing to Angela Gorzelsky, who they hoped would be a compromise candidate for the two camps. Vizza, Trigona and Gentile voted for Fred Mickel both times.
When the board was unable to decide, the Cambria County court system needed to fill the vacancy. A three-judge panel picked Taranto.
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