SHAMOKIN - For its first meeting of 2014, the Shamokin Housing Authority board welcomed back a familiar face, appointed a new chairperson and said goodbye to one member.

Part of Thursday's meeting of the board was dedicated to reorganization because board chairman Raymond G. Splane was not reappointed by Shamokin City Council. Instead, council appointed former member Malcolm Farrow IV to the board Jan. 13.

With the former chair gone, vice-chairperson Suzanne Kopitsky ran the meeting with board members Farrow, James Picarelli and Pamala Rhoades in attendance.

Absent was member Robert J. Wolfe, who resigned from the board earlier this week because of his appointment as acting sheriff of Northumberland County, a job he begins today.

New business

When it came time to reorganize the board, solicitor Frank Garrigan Jr. took over the meeting and asked for nominations. Picarelli nominated Kopitsky as chairperson.

"I was going to do the same for you," Kopitsky said.

"I'm an old man, I decline," Picarelli replied.

Before a vote was taken, Kopitsky expressed a little concern about the amount of time she could devote to the job.

"I know how much time the previous chairman devoted to the authority, and I don't know if I could do that," Kopitsky said.

"Maybe that's a good thing," Farrow joked.

Former chairman Splane has been criticized for spending too much time at authority properties and has been charged with disorderly conduct and harassment after clashes with residents in the Raspberry Hill complex and Harold E. Thomas Highrise. He was offered the opportunity to enter the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Program, Once he completes the program, should he choose to take part, the charges will be expunged.

Kopitsky was unanimously approved as the new board chairperson. Farrow was appointed as vice chairperson on a 4-0 vote.

The last spectre of Splane was removed when a previous motion banning all authority board members from authority properties, a rule made because of Splane's charges, was rescinded.

In other business:

- The board heard from Harold E. Thomas Highrise resident John Keating, who said he paid a $300 security deposit to the highrise office so another resident could keep one of his dogs. Keating said the security deposit was mistakenly sent to the other resident's family when he passed away. Miller said it is policy to send any security deposit to the estate. Keating said he spoke with the man's daughter and he was only given $230 when the man's account was settled.

Keating said the authority owes him the remaining money, but Kopitsky said what happens with the estate is not the authority's business. She said the authority "bent over backwards" for Keating, circumventing the rules so he could have his two dogs on premises.

- The board adopted a policy that requires a $25 security deposit for anyone using the newly remodeled community room at the Raspberry Hill complex. The deposit will be refunded if the tenant cleans up after their event.

- All bids for a new fire alarm system at the Harold E. Thomas Highrise were rejected, but the authority hopes to put a revised bid package out in the near future.