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Alice Elia
Chambersburg Council President Alice Elia

Chambersburg’s Borough Council made history this week with the election of its first woman president.

Alice Elia became Chambersburg’s top elected official after being chosen Monday night to head Borough Council.

Elia election represented a historic moment for the 216-year-old borough. She is the first woman to head the municipality’s governing body.

Before Elia’s election to lead Council, Magisterial District Judge Glenn Manns administered the oath of office to five Council members.

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Council must under law reorganize the first Monday in January every two years. The 10-member Council representing the borough’s five wards, or neighborhoods, serve four year terms. Half of them – one from each ward — run for election or reelection every two years.

Swearing in ceremony
Taking the oath: from left, Alice Elia, Kathy Leedy, Sharon Bigler, John Huber and Bill Everly.

Receiving the oath of office this year were Alice Elia (First Ward), Sharon Bigler (Fourth Ward), Bill Everly (Fifth Ward), John Huber (Second Ward), and Kathy Leedy (Third Ward).

Mayor Walt Bietsch conducted Monday’s meeting until a Council president was selected.

Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill took a minute at the beginning of the meeting to praise the work of outgoing council president Heath Talhelm. Talhelm served as council president the past two years.

“Under his leadership, the Borough and Borough utilities accomplished several successful projects,” Stonehill said.

In other business, Council elected Herbert as its Vice-President, Allen Coffman as personnel liaison and Huber as finance chair.

Together, Elia and the other three represent the officers of the Borough government.

Council also re-appointed Stonehill as borough manager and Bryan Salzmann the borough’s solicitor. Council also filled positions on various volunteer boards and committees. A full list of appointees is located on the Borough‘s website transparency page. 

Town Council meets again at 7 p.m. Jan. 13, in Council Chambers at City Hall.

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