Tensions High During Wright Reorganization

Tensions were high as the Wright Township Board of Supervisors disagreed on some appointments made at its Jan. 4 reorganization meeting, namely one where Candace Smith lost her longtime position on the township’s Planning Commission.

New Supervisor Michael Marshall, who defeated Smith for the seat in the November election, made the motion to remove Smith from the Planning Commission and instead appoint a newcomer. Marshall stated that, while he thought Smith had done a good job in her 20 years on the commission, he felt it was a conflict of interest for her to continue to serve.

Smith, who was in the audience, balked at the idea that it was a conflict. Supervisor Colleen Macko supported Marshall and stated that Smith appointed everyone on the Planning Commission including her daughter.

Macko related that she thought it wasn’t proper for two Smiths to be on one board. Smith responded that a married couple serves together on another township board. “What’s the difference?” she asked.

When it came time to vote, Marshall, Macko, and Supervisor Louis Welebob Jr. voted to remove Smith and appoint Anthony D’Angio to the commission. Supervisors Jerry Uram and Donald Zampetti voted against the motion.

Zampetti, visibly enraged, expressed his displeasure with Marshall recommending someone new for the Planning Commission without discussing it with the board earlier. “We don’t know this guy. We don’t throw names out at the last second,” he said. “We don’t even know if this guy wants to be on the Planning Commission.”

“I’m telling you he does,” replied Marshall.

“Next you’re going to say we should elect Elmer Fudd,” remarked Zampetti.

“Make that motion at the next meeting,” Marshall retorted.

D’Angio will serve on the Planning Commission until Dec. 2019. Joan Malkemes will serve as the Planning Commission’s administrator and recording secretary.

Marshall and Macko also voted together against another motion, to appoint Welebob, named earlier as the board’s new chairman, as Roadmaster at a rate of $200 a month. Marshall wanted Welebob as Roadmaster, but at a higher rate of $300 a month. Marshall tried to make a motion to change the salary but was told by Zampetti that it was too late.

In the vote, Welebob, Zampetti, and Uram approved the Roadmaster appointment at $200 per month.

Other appointments made at the reorganization meeting included Zampetti as vice chairman to the board and Joan Malkemes to continue as secretary and treasurer, to be bonded for $500,000.

Attorney Michael Kostelansky was reappointed as solicitor, to receive a retainer of $200 a month, plus $75 an hour for miscellaneous matters, $100 an hour for local level litigation and drafting ordinances, and $115 an hour for Federal and State Court appeals and all labor matters.

Joseph Holmes will be the township’s zoning officer, paid

See Tensions page 4