Amidst a flurry of changes, West Lebanon Township is looking to fill a vacancy on its Board of Commissioners. The township announced a special meeting set for July 24 at 7 p.m. to address the open position, which runs through January.

Interested residents are encouraged to apply by submitting a letter of intent to the township office by July 19.

The vacancy immediately follows the filling of another board seat that had became available with the resignation of Commissioner John Brenner at the township meeting on June 5. On June 20, a special meeting was held where John Gurganus was appointed as Brenner’s replacement until January.

Brenner was elected to the position for a four-year term in the 2021 general election. A two-year term will be on the ballot this fall to complete the rest of that term.

Further turnover ensued on July 3, when Harry Fox stepped down from his position as board president. Fox’s position will now be filled. In Fox’s resignation letter, he said that “chaos” began with the resignation of Brenner, and that he felt compelled to resign from the position as it was affecting his health.

Fox was elected to the position for a four-year term in the 2019 general election and his board seat was already on the ballot this fall for another full four-year term.

As the fall general election approaches, all five board seats will be up for election. This includes three four-year term seats and two two-year term seats.

The two two-year seats on the ballot this fall will fill out the remainder of terms of Brenner, as mentioned above, along with Tina Houser, who was replaced by appointment with Richard Pflueger following her resignation last April. Both those two-year seats will convert back to full four-year seats in the 2025 election.

Already on the ballot for the four-year terms this fall are incumbents Phylis Dryden and Michelle Testerman, along with newcomer Justin Snyder, all of whom are Republicans. No Democrats filed or reached write-in thresholds for the positions.

At the time of the primary, only one of the two-year terms was available. Although no candidates filed for either party in the primary contest, Republican Joseph Templin won a spot on the ballot through write-in votes. No Democrats filed or reached write-in thresholds for the position.

For the second two-year term, each party will be able to nominate a single candidate to go on the ballot.

As is standard, independent/third-party candidates may also be able to get on the ballot for this and other races, although Lebanon County elections director Sean Drasher notes that the details on that process vary depending on the race and how the candidate is registered, so your best bet for pursuing this is reaching out to the county elections office for more information.

Testerman, who is currently the ranking township commissioner in her role as vice president, encouraged West Lebanon Township residents to come out to the board’s meetings, which are typically held on the first Monday of each month.

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Davis Shaver is the publisher of LebTown. He grew up in Lebanon and currently lives outside of Hershey, PA.


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