Reade supervisor resigns, replacement named

BLANDBURG — A resignation letter submitted by now-former Reade Township Supervisor Don Rickard was accepted Monday by his peers, who quickly appointed a replacement.

With little discussion at an evening meeting, Supervisors John McElheny and Jim Igou voted unanimously to accept Rickard’s resignation.

After the meeting, McElheny shared Rickard’s resignation letter, which was submitted Jan. 9.

“Due to personal interests, it is with great regret that I am resigning as (township) supervisor effective immediately,” the letter reads.

In the letter, Rickard also called his two and a half years of service as a supervisor “an honor” and thanked community members for their support.

While Rickard did not specify what “personal interests” caused him to resign, McElheny said he believes the decision was spurred by a special meeting held earlier this year, when supervisors appointed members to the local water authority.

On Jan. 8, the three supervisors voted unanimously to appoint resident Pat Shade to the authority’s board. However, they could not agree when it came time to vote on whether to reappoint board member Jim Thompson.

Thompson was reappointed in a 2-1 vote, with Rickard dissenting.

The authority board has long been a point of contention in the community, and McElheny said he believes Rickard was angry about Thompson’s reappointment, which may have led to his decision to resign.

“He was unhappy,” McElheny said, speaking about Rickard.

In his letter, Rickard wished township leaders luck as they move forward without him.

“I wish nothing but the best for the (township) and its people as it moves forward with a new supervisors board,” Rickard wrote.

On Monday, before the meeting officially began, resident Bill Phillips sat at a table alongside McElheny and Igou. Later — again without much discussion — McElheny and Igou would vote to appoint Phillips to fill Rickard’s vacancy.

Phillips, a retiree, said Igou approached him, asking if he’d fill the role. That was a request Phillips, a longtime township resident, said he was glad to fulfill.

Phillips is to serve the remainder of Rickard’s unexpired term. On Monday, McElheny said he was unsure about the length of that unexpired term.

At 9 p.m. Monday evening, the state Department of Community & Economic Development already had Phillips listed as a Reade Township supervisor.

Information posted to the DCED website said Phillips’ name was added at 1:47 p.m. Jan. 30. — six days before Igou and McElheny voted Monday to appoint him.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.