Councilman-elect weighs turning down position

There were three City Council candidates running for three seats Tuesday, so they were all shoo-ins.

One councilman-elect, however, has one foot out of the ring.

Matt Cacciotti, the newcomer among a trio of Republicans that included incumbents Dave Butterbaugh and Mike Haire, may not accept the seat, because of his responsibilities as owner of Carlsson Real Estate and Construction Services.

Cacciotti was the lead vote getter Tuesday with 3,492 ballots. Butterbaugh received 3,198, and Haire got 3,124.

“I’ve been talking with the guys [on council],” he said. “I might have to be realistic and see if I can truly put in the time commitments it will take.”

Cacciotti is trying to come to terms with the issues before making a decision, he said.

As a real estate agent and construction contractor, he’s especially busy in summer and fall, which means he hasn’t been able to attend many meetings or events since the primary, he said.

Even if he decides today not to accept the seat, council can’t name a replacement until Jan. 6 – when new council members will be sworn in and there’s an actual vacancy, according to city solicitor Larry Clapper.

Starting on that date, the council would have 30 days to name that replacement – after which the responsibility goes to Blair County Court, provided the court receives a petition signed by at least 10 registered voters.

City Council can name a replacement with a simple nomination and majority vote, Clapper said.

Council can also ask for written resumes and conduct interviews, he said.

But council can’t discuss whom to appoint in executive session and must conduct the interviews in public, because it’s an elective office, according to Clapper.

The replacement would serve two-years – until the next municipal election.

At that municipal election, a two-year seat would be available, to re-synchronize the seat with the regular four-year rotation.

In most cases, when the court takes responsibility for naming a replacement, the president judge accepts the task, Clapper said.

“I’d love to serve,” Cacciotti said Tuesday. “[But] I want to make the best decision for City Council.”

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.