Bensalem council votes in new leaders, approves mayoral appointments

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Matt Schickling / Times photo.

In its first meeting of the New Year, Bensalem Township Council reorganized leadership positions on Monday.

Council voted unanimously to select member Ed Kisselback as its president. Kisselback has been a councilman since 1995, sworn in for his most recent four-year term at the beginning of last year.

Kisselback last served as council president in 2013. He will replace 2016 president Joseph Knowles.

Council also chose Joe Pileri as vice president and Tony Belfield as secretary. Both of their terms expire at the end of the year, but both plan to run for re-election. Bryan Allen and Knowles will both remain members of council.

Council also designated its meeting schedule for the second and fourth Monday of each month. The meetings are cablecast on Comcast Xfinity channel 22 and Verizon Fios channel 34, and are recorded by the township for replay.

At the meeting, council also approved several mayoral appointments for community members to serve on the township’s boards and committees such as the Community Development Advisory Board, Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board, Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Board and Zoning Hearing Board.

Though the votes went through, it was not unanimous. Allen abstained from voting on most of the board and commission appointments.

“Every year, I ask for the names ahead of time because we’re supposed to review the names,” he said. “The names are sitting here the day we show up. I’m done having a battle.”

Allen acknowledged that the mayor may be composing the appointments up until the day of the meeting, but feels review is warranted before a vote.

“Just give us what you have, because it’s on our record forever,” he said.

The mayor did not comment on Allen’s abstention, but noted that there are still openings on the Shade Tree Commission, as commissioner and warden. Bensalem residents interested in volunteering for those positions can inquire with the township.

“I’d like to thank everybody who volunteers their time for these positions,” DiGirolamo said. “It’s very important to what we do here in Bensalem.” ••

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