James Singer to fill vacant council seat

May 26, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

After more than two months of deadlocks, the Manchester Town Council finally picked a fifth council member to replace Robert Kolodziejski, who resigned in March.

Shouts of "Hurrah" and "Finally" erupted from the audience as the council voted 3-1 to name political novice James J. Singer to complete the unexpired term.

Mr. Singer, a 37-year Manchester resident, said he decided to seek the post after getting fed up with the council's inability to make decisions.

"I have an interest in things that go on in public leadership," said the retired Black & Decker machine tool operator. "I wanted to . . . see if we could finally break a tie. I've had some encouragement from local residents."

It wasn't certain that the four-member council would fill the seat last night. As they had in biweekly meetings since April 12, members reached two 2-2 votes on replacements.

After a brief pause, Councilman Douglas Myers nominated Mr. Singer. In a surprise move, Councilman Christopher D'Amario seconded the nomination. Mr. D'Amario had sided with Councilwoman Charlotte Collett on all the previous votes, while Mr. Myers and Councilwoman Kathryn L. Riley voted together.

Ms. Collett voted against Mr. Singer.

The process to select Mr. Singer was at least shorter than the one to find Mr. D'Amario. It took the council 10 votes over five months to choose Mr. D'Amario to fill the seat of John A. Riley, who resigned in September.

Mr. Singer, a father of four, was sworn in after an hourlong public hearing budget hearing at which the council began debating Mayor Earl A.J. "Tim" Warehime Jr.'s $1.36 million budget for fiscal year 1995.

The budget -- which the council had not passed late last night -- calls for a 5-cent increase in the town's 41-cent property tax rate despite a nearly 6 percent drop in spending.

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