SHAMOKIN - William D. Milbrand was sworn into the office of mayor, and Barbara Moyer and Charlie Verano sworn in as new members of city council, during a special reorganization meeting Monday morning.

After council reorganized, a 3-1 vote added former city clerk Dave Kinder as the fifth member. He will fill the two years that remain on Milbrand's unexpired term as a city councilman.

Kinder, who was not in attendance, must also be sworn into office (See separate story).

Milbrand, Councilman R. Craig Rhoades and Verano voted in favor of Kinder's appointment; Moyer was opposed.

Kinder's nomination was the only official nomination made. Moyer had her own candidate in mind - Charles Sosnoskie, with whom she had served on the city planning commission.

However, at this point unfamiliar with the rules of order and with no legal counsel on hand from whom to seek advice, she failed to make a subsidiary motion prior to the vote on Kinder.

"You can't because it passed," Rhoades said after the vote on Kinder and just after Milbrand had mistakenly called for a motion for any other candidates. That had spurred Moyer to begin to make a motion before being cut off in the confusion.

After the meeting, Moyer said she has "great respect" for Kinder, that she looks forward to working with him, and that she believes he will do his best as a councilman. She wished to nominate Sosnoskie, she said, because she believed anyone who expressed interest in the position should be given consideration.

The council members were assigned by separate 4-0 votes to their respective positions: Kinder, director of accounts and finance; Moyer, director of parks and recreation; Rhoades, director of public safety; Verano, director of public improvements (street department). As mayor, per Third Class City Code, Milbrand will oversee the police department.

Brenda Scandle, treasurer, and Gary Haddock, controller, each of whom were re-elected in November in uncontested races, were also sworn into office.

New solicitor, too

Frank Konopka was appointed by a 4-0 vote to become city solicitor, replacing H. Robert Mattis. Neither were in attendance.

Konopka, a city resident who is an attorney with the Makowski, Marateck, Konopka and Marateck Law Offices, said when reached by telephone that his nomination came as a surprise. He pledged to do what he can to ensure that city council works for the benefit of the citizens of Shamokin.

The positions taken on by Milbrand, Moyer and Verano had been held by now former mayor and councilmen George Rozinskie Jr., Michael Snyder and William Strausser.

Rozinskie served one term on city council before serving a single term as mayor. He did not seek re-election. Neither did Snyder, a two-term councilman.

Strausser was defeated by Moyer and Verano in the primary election. He had been in City Hall for 52 consecutive years - four as a councilman, 10 as controller and 38 as city clerk.

Milbrand was two years into a four-year term on council when he announced his candidacy for mayor last year. He defeated Rhoades in May's Democratic primary election and edged newcomer Dan McGaw, the Republican nominee, by a single vote in November's general election.

Given just how close the election results were, McGaw had gained support from some to become the appointee to fulfill Milbrand's term, but that was not to be.

Moyer and Verano emerged from a four-person race in the primary election to win the Republican Party's nomination. They won the two council positions in November, besting a third challenger, Democrat Scott Anderson.