Street signs

Harry Funk/The Almanac

Ceremonial street signs honor the outgoing Peters Township Council members.

In January 2016, Frank Kosir Jr. took his seat as the new member of Peters Township Council, joining half a dozen incumbents.

The same seven people then served together for the next six years, an era that ended Monday with the final council meeting for members David Ball, James Berquist and Monica Merrell.

As a token of appreciation from municipal staff, township manager Paul Lauer presented each of them with a gift card for dinner, possibly to be used on nights when the next iteration of council is gathered.

“Communities are defined by the willingness of residents to devote their time and talents and service of the common good, and nowhere is that more true or more impactful than those who choose to serve their community as a member of council,” Lauer said.

“The reward for being a member of council is knowing that you have contributed to the long-term success of your community,” he continued. “Peters Township is recognized throughout our region as a premier community in which to live and raise a family. This is in no small part the result of the contributions you’ve made during your tenure on council.”

Ball, who served as council chairman the past two years, took the opportunity to give farewell remarks.

“I’ve had the pleasure of serving Peters Township for well over 30 years in one form or another, planning commission and then 16 years on the council,” he said. “In that time, all of us, we’ve seen Peters Township grow from a town of 10,000 residents to 22,000 people who live here right now. We’ve seen schools built, seen a recreation center built, seen a railbed converted into a trail, seen new businesses develop, new roads.

“But the one constant throughout my time on council has been the great and dedicated township staff that we have,” Ball added. “Without these people, the township wouldn’t function the way that it does.”

He also thanked his fellow council members.

“I truly believe that we have all governed at all times with the township’s best interests at heart,” Ball said. “And finally, I’d like to thank the people of Peters Township for providing me with the honor of serving.”

Further honoring the outgoing council members was state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Peters, who presented them with commendations from the House of Representatives.

With Ball’s departure, Gary Stiegel Jr. was named interim chairman to lead council’s Jan. 3 reorganization, at which a member will be elected to chair proceedings through the remainder of 2022.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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