By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — James Buck has been elected chairman of the East Buffalo Township supervisors, and the board will go to once-monthly meetings beginning at 6 p.m. Monday.
Buck — who will leave the board at the end of this year, possible for a Fulbright scholarship overseas — takes the reins from Henry Baylor Jr., who was chairman for three years.
“I’m excited,” Buck said Wednesday. “It’s nice to have that trust for my final year on the board.”
Buck also was named the township’s alternative representative on the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Commission, on which Baylor and Supervisor Thomas Zorn also sit.
Zorn nominated Baylor for the chairmanship again, but Baylor turned it down and, in turn, nominated Buck.
“I felt strongly about Hank continuing for another year,” Zorn said, adding he feels the chairmanship is a “position of honor and prestige that (Baylor) should continue with. Hank has a different view.”
Baylor said with Buck having just one year left, it was time to let him have a go at the office.
“Jim has not had a chance to get really involved with the township on committees,” Baylor said. “I would like to see him become more a part of it, so why not make him chairman and give him the opportunity?”
Baylor also said people have the wrong idea about the chairmanship. “It’s a hoot to be able to run the meetings, and that’s the only distinction, really,” he said. “A lot of people have this idea about the chairman having this power. That’s not correct.”
Nevertheless, the three supervisors have made for lively meetings over the past two or so months with Buck opposing Baylor and Zorn on some issues, specifically the new municipal building complex, a $3.5 million project expected to be done close to fall.
Buck felt strongly — and still does — that the project should have stayed closer to the $3.1 million price tag recommended by former Township Manager Peter Marshall.
Baylor commended Stacey Kifolo, who joined the township as full-time manager in October, and said the job she’s doing is the main reason the board is going to one meeting a month.
“The objective of hiring a township manager was to off-load significant responsibility to that person, and that’s worked,” Baylor said. Kifolo has “really picked up ball and run with it,” so much so that completing daily business and activities lessens the need for two meetings a month.
The meetings will begin at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the township’s temporary home at 57 Reitz Blvd.