McClosky Houck will remain Luzerne County Council chair

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - | January 4th, 2016 7:06 pm

Linda McClosky Houck will remain Luzerne County Council chair, and Councilman Tim McGinley will be vice chairman.

County council members made the selection during Monday night’s reorganization meeting, which was the first for three new council members sworn in before the meeting: Jane Walsh Waitkus, Eugene Kelleher and Robert Schnee.

After the first round of voting, it appeared the council would be without a chair because the vote was tied 5-5 for McClosky Houck and McGinley, with the remaining council member Stephen A. Urban absent.

McClosky Houck and McGinley each voted for themselves.

McClosky Houck also received support from Edward Brominski, Harry Haas, Eileen Sorokas and Rick Williams.

The three new members voted for McGinley. Dobash said she didn’t want either but supported McGinley because she wanted to cause a tie and believed McClosky Houck “has her own agenda.”

Chief Solicitor C. David Pedri said the council can keep voting until someone receives six votes.

On the second round, Kelleher changed his vote to support McClosky Houck “to resolve this issue.” McClosky Houck received six votes, and Dobash abstained in the second round.

The vice chairman vote also initially was tied 5-5 between McGinley and Haas.

“Welcome to council everybody,” Haas said.

“And this isn’t the most difficult decision on the agenda,” McClosky Houck said.

The result was the same the second round of voting. Haas then declined the nomination. He had voted for McGinley in the first two rounds and said he believed McGinley was “better suited” for vice chairman.

McGinley then received eight votes for vice chair.

McClosky Houck Houck

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.