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Lone Springettsbury supervisor who voted against casino resigns
The Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors has one open seat and one new face.
Kathleen Phan, who said she's pursuing “a career opportunity," and Blanda Nace, who moved outside the township, are no longer on the board.
Justin Tomevi, who replaced Nace, is serving the remainder of the former supervisor’s term that ends Dec. 31, 2019. He was sworn in Thursday, Sept. 27.
Tomevi, 31, who works at Barley Snyder LLP, said he's been a lifelong resident of Springettsbury Township and is now raising his family there.
Four applicants submitted their names for Nace's seat, including Tomevi.
"Charles Wurster encouraged me to apply," Tomevi explained. "I thought it would be an interesting opportunity."
Tomevi confirmed that he is going to run in 2019 to serve a full term.
Phan, whose seat has not yet been filled, noted that she no longer has adequate time to commit to both her professional career and her supervisor duties, according to a township statement.
She was the only supervisor to vote against allowing a casino in the township. Phan remained vocal about her opposition to gambling until the time she resigned.
“I feel Springettsbury Township is a family-oriented community, and we do not need a mini-casino,” Phan has said.
Township manager Ben Marchant said the guidelines to replace a resigning board member are "very broad."
Under the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code, supervisors have 30 days to select a candidate and vote them into a supervisor position. Supervisors agreed to select and approve Phan's replacement at their Thursday, Oct. 11 meeting.
"We received some letters of interest and resumes," Marchant said.
If supervisors are unable to appoint a new supervisor within 30 days, then the matter goes before the vacancy board chairman, Marchant added.
Nace's and Phan's replacement will join the board at a time when the state's first mini-casino begins the licensure process.
"I personally am in favor of it," Tomevi said. "The Galleria mall is a ghost town at this point. It will hopefully rejuvenate the Galleria and surrounding parcels. I'm personally not a gambler, but there will be an economic boost that will be helpful."
Penn National announced Sept. 6 it intends to place the state’s first mini-casino in the former Sears location at the York Galleria. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has the authority to approve or deny the Wyomissing-based gambling company’s license.
Part of that process is hosting a public input hearing within the municipality’s proposed casino location. A hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at 1501 Mount Zion Road.