The Herald, Sharon, PA Published Thursday, Jan. 31, 2002


Wife succeeds husband on council

Grove City council on Monday chose Beth Cooney to fill what had been her husband's Ward 1 seat.

Council was to make the decision at its Jan. 21 meeting, but it was put on hold because of an inquiry Solicitor Tim Bonner had to make of the state Ethics Commission.

He inquired if it was OK for Mrs. Cooney to replace her husband, Michael Cooney, who was elected as borough tax collector.

The Ethics Commission had said it was legal for Mrs. Cooney to apply for her husband's two-year council spot. However, council wasn't sure if it would be ethical for her to make decisions concerning his salary when it was brought up in the budget.

Raises for the tax collector are considered a year before the official is up for re-election and that would be the only time in budgetary votes that she would have to abstain, Bonner said.

Besides Cooney's 44-year-old wife, who is a controller for Instron Satec, the other nominees were 35-year-old Ron Ficca, owner of Ficca Funeral Home, and 72-year-old retiree Frank Jablonovsky.

Mrs. Cooney, who received five votes, was sworn in by Mayor Bruce Bennett. Jablonovsky received three votes and Ficca received one vote.

Jablonovsky didn't attend the meeting because he is vacationing. Ficca attended and congratulated his challenger.

President Randy Riddle asked Ficca about serving on public committees under council. Several thanked him for his interest, and for attending all but one council meeting since May, and many committee meetings.

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