Quincy Twp. appoints new supervisor

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Quincy Twp. Solicitor Linus Phenicle swears in the newest supervisor. ANDREA ROSE/LOCAL.NEWS

QUINCY—Quincy Township has a full board of supervisors again, but the new board member wasn’t the first—or second—choice. And he’s not really a new board member.

Former supervisor Lee Daywalt was appointed to the board Monday after two other candidates didn’t pass muster.

Tough decisions

Board member Steve Bakner, who was elected in November to a six-year term and Alan Peck, who garnered a four-year term on the board, had the job of appointing a third member to fill the seat left vacant by Kerry Bumbaugh, who died suddenly Dec. 3, at the township building.

“We had several applicants for this position,” Bakner said.

Bakner made a motion to appoint Steve Weagley, citing his management and sales experience. “He has a lot of good references,” Bakner said.

But that motion died due to lack of a second.

“I don’t know very much about him and none of his references returned my calls. I can’t appoint someone I don’t know much about,” Peck explained.

Peck then suggested Nelson Egolf. “He has previous board experience and I believe he would be an asset to the board,” Peck said.

That motion died as well, when Bakner wouldn’t second it over concerns about Egolf’s son-in-law, who is employed by the township.
“We’ve been hearing for the last year about corruption and now we want to replace [Bumbaugh] with someone whose son-in-law is employed here… ,” Bakner said.

After a couple minutes of silence at the board table, Solicitor Linus Phenicle reminded the board if they could not successfully appoint a candidate, the matter would need to be referred to the township’s vacancy board—which is comprised by the two supervisors plus an appointee from the community.

Phenicle said that board would have just 15 days to make a successful appointment.

After pondering that idea, Bakner and Peck decided to revisit a few of the candidates under consideration.

Bakner suggested Daywalt, but Peck was reluctant to agree, based on some legal concerns surrounding a writ of quo warranto that’s being considered regarding how former supervisor Tabb Justus was appointed to the board.

Peck was concerned that Daywalt’s appointment could be a conflict with that situation.

“That mainly involves Justus,” Phenicle said. “Lee was just second in that process.”

But Peck wasn’t swayed by the solicitor’s advice.

“I respect his opinion, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with it,” Peck said.

After more consideration, however, Bakner made another motion to appoint Daywalt and Peck agreed.

Daywalt will fill out the remainder of Bumbaugh’s term, which runs through 2023.

Decisions, decisions

The new supervisor wasn’t the only decision that was difficult for Bakner and Peck. They also failed to hire a new solicitor.

Phenicle announced his retirement and during a reorganization meeting Monday, the supervisors—prior to Daywalt joining the board—couldn’t agree on a replacement.

They had it narrowed down to Zachary Mills, who also serves as Washington Township solicitor, and Jason Piatt of Piatt Law.

Both motions died due to lack of seconds.

Phenicle said he would stay on until the full board makes a decision on his replacement.

In the meantime, Bakner, Peck and Daywalt hope to be able to put the past behind them and make a positive change in the future.

“We ask you to support us and give us a chance to learn,” Bakner told the audience. “The gossip has to stop. We need your support, not your criticism.”