When it comes to reminiscing about his 18 years as a Logan Township supervisor, Frank Meloy recalls the controversies and how he handled them.
Almost 14 years ago, in February 2000, Meloy was leading a supervisors meeting at St. John's School in Lakemont. The crowd of visitors included some in favor and some opposed to rezoning a portion of their village from residential to commercial, paving the way for an expanded Park Avenue to accommodate Blair County Ballpark traffic and nearby businesses.
"One guy got up and said, 'Before you supervisors vote on anything, you're going to take a vote of this audience,'" Meloy recounted Thursday during the supervisors meeting. "And I very calmly said: 'Sir, that's not how this government works, but thank you for your suggestion. Now does anyone else have another suggestion?"'
Fellow supervisors smiled and laughed with Meloy, who chose not to seek re-election and ends his third six-year term on the board at the end of the month.
In addition to accolades, the supervisors Thursday night presented Meloy with a plaque and resolutions read by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, before the U.S. House of Representatives and by state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair, before the state Senate.
State Rep. John McGinnis, R-Altoona, who attended the meeting, read the resolution he offered to recognize Meloy, who has been a supervisor since 1996.
Meloy's appreciative response left him emotional and speechless at one point, but the longtime supervisor also managed to tell fellow supervisors and township staff: "Keep up your great work"
One of the secrets of being a good supervisor and a good elected official, Meloy said, is doing what's best "for all your constituents, not just a special interest group."
Besides the Lakemont meeting, Meloy recalled a meeting at the Jaffa Shrine Center, in February 2003, where supervisors weighed issues that would permit or stop the proposed construction of Logan Town Centre at the base of Brush Mountain.
"I don't think there's any development, major development, that took place in this township, that we
didn't have controversy," Meloy said.
Despite the protests, mostly linked to environmental concerns, Meloy cast a vote that night and at other meetings, which permitted the shopping center complex to be built.
"Now, Logan Town Centre is one of the major employers in this area," Meloy said. "And without that center, our tax base would be really hurting."
Supervisor Jim Patterson, who was on the board when Meloy joined, praised Meloy for continuing to work with the fire departments after taking office. Before being elected, Meloy chaired a township citizens committee that studied volunteer fire service and offered
recommendations that stirred debate.
"With Frank's leadership, we were able to combine, willingly, voluntarily, into five fire companies," Patterson said.
Supervisor Ed Frontino, who joined the township board in January 2008, referred to Meloy as a mentor and praised his ability "to really look at things from all angles."
As for an upcoming issue, Meloy said he thinks Blair County, unfortunately, is facing the need to reassess.
"I can now say that I'm not running for office, any office, any time in the future," Meloy said.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.