Friday, February 8, 2019

Brian Snyder, Tarentum business owner, chosen to fill council vacancy - Tribune-Review

Updated 18 hours ago

Filling an empty seat on Tarentum Council turned out to be more difficult than its remaining members anticipated.

It was not for a lack of candidates, but because of the quality of the candidates they had to choose from.

It was only after much mulling by Councilman Scott Dadowski, the last to vote, that Brian Snyder received the three votes of the five council members present to secure the 3rd Ward seat. Councilman Tim Cornuet was absent.

Snyder, of West Ninth Avenue, replaces Councilwoman Rhonda Dzugan, who resigned in January . He will serve through the rest of the year ; the seat and four others will be up for election this year.

Snyder said he will run in the election to serve the remaining two years on the term.

“I’m in shock,” he said before taking the oath of office and assuming his council seat. “Let me know what I can do. I want to work for the 3rd Ward.”

Council interviewed three other candidates for the seat — Maggie Smith, Jim Bonner and Tiffany Babinsack. Keith Gohn had applied, but did not attend Thursday’s council meeting.

Councilman Adam Blythe nominated Snyder first, garnering him the first vote. He, Erika Josefoski and Dadowski voted for Snyder.

Councilwoman Lou Ann Homa nominated Smith; Carrie Fox had nominated Babinsack.

“They’re all so qualified,” Homa said.

Fox, who also represents the 3rd Ward, said the candidates were impressive.

“You made our decision very hard,” she said.

“We have a lot of good people in Tarentum,” Fox said. “I’m happy so many people are interested.”

Josefoski urged those not selected to not be discouraged, and to consider running for council in this year’s election.

Among the five seats up this year, two are for the 3rd Ward and one is at-large.

“We’d love to work with each and every one of you,” Josefoski said.

A borough resident for 16 years, Snyder and his wife, Wendy Thimons, opened Dry Bones on East Sixth Avenue last July.

“Tarentum became my home,” he said. “I believe in Tarentum so much I invested in Tarentum.”

Snyder said with development and promotion Tarentum “can be a place where people want to move to, where people want to live and where people grow roots.”

Snyder has a background in music marketing and development.

“I can make somebody popular,” he said, adding that he can carry that over to making the borough popular. “I know what it takes to develop interest.”

Snyder said he’d like to see more businesses enter Tarentum, not just on East Sixth Avenue but also on West Seventh, which he said is “due for a facelift” and “could be a great business thoroughfare.”

“There’s so many reasons for people to come here,” he said. “We have to give them a reason to stay.”

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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