YORK COUNTY – Tuesday night, at 5 p.m., Jan. 16, public applicant interviews regarding filling the District 2 York County Commissioner seat were supposed to take place with a selection soon afterward. However, due to the unprecedented weather, road conditions and other situations, York County Attorney Gary Olson said the decision was made to “start the process over.”
One reason was that the deadline for the application process was at 5 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 12. While they received two applications, he said one other person said they tried to file an application on that date, but could not, due to the closure of the courthouse because of the weather.
“And it’s my understanding another person tried to file an application by the deadline, via e-mail, but for whatever reason it was not received,” Olson said. “It was also likely due to the closure of the courthouse and the weather, which no one could control.”
There were two applications received before the deadline – those of LeRoy Ott and Tony Cain. However, Olson said one of the applicants was unable to be there for the Tuesday interview process, because of the road conditions.
And there was another situation. The process has to be presided over by a panel consisting of the county treasurer, clerk and attorney, per state law. County Attorney Olson and York County Clerk Kelly Turner were present for the proceedings on Tuesday night, but York County Treasurer Megan Williams was unable to attend due to illness.
“Due to all of this, we won’t continue on with tonight’s hearing,” Olson said to the crowd which had gathered. “At this point, we decided we will publish the opening once again and start over. I think this is appropriate due to the weather situation we find ourselves in. I apologize for this continuation, but with the importance of this position, I think we need to continue.”
The applications of Ott and Cain will remain in force and others who want to apply will be able to do so. Neither Olson nor Turner were able to release the deadline date for those applications to be received, at this point. That will be publicized as it is determined.
This effort is to fill the vacancy created on the York County Board of Commissioners, due to the unexpected death of Commissioner Woody Ziegler.
While state law mandates a 45-day window for filling vacated positions on county boards, there are provisions for when unprecedented situations occur.