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By Marcella Peyre-Ferry
For the Journal Register News Service
OXFORD – Oxford Borough Council members ignored political affiliations and appointed self described Independent Walter Saranetz to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Dr. Russell Doyle earlier this month.
Saranetz was one of three applicants to for the position along with Suzanne Vinciguera and Mary Baringer. “I will say that all three of these applicants have been involved in our meetings and are known by council,” council president Ron Hershey said at the beginning of the July 23 special meeting.
All three applicants were nominated, and then the votes were taken. Saranetz won on a four to two vote, with council members Randy Teel and John Thompson voting for Vinciguera.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Saranetz moved to Oxford in 1995. “I love the place, I love the neighbors, I love the borough, I love the community as a whole and I feel I owe a debt of service to them,” he explained his motivation to apply for the position. He also serves on the borough planning commission and historical commission as well as the town watch. “I do have experience working with borough officials I’ve worked well with them in the past and I think I can continue that trend.”
Vinciguera ran for council last November and was defeated, but was later appointed to the borough Historical Commission and Zoning Hearing Board. When it was discovered that a Zoning Hearing Board member may not hold another appointed post, she resigned that spot, continuing to serve on the Historical Commission.
Baringer is very active in the community with volunteer work, and a supporter of community and Oxford Mainstreet Inc. activities. Like Vinciguera and Saranetz she regularly attends council meetings.
A biochemist by trade, Saranetz hopes to bring increased transparency to the workings of council. “I’d like a little more openness with what goes on at meetings – more public involvement - essentially getting the public to be a part of the meeting instead of a spectator,” he said.
After the voting, Saranetz was immediately sworn in by mayor Geoff Henry, and will be a voting council member at their next special meeting July 25 when they consider adoption of the regional comprehensive plan.