SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOC Joanne Ackerman resigns; fifth ward appointee sought
A longtime Salisbury Township commissioner has resigned.
Joanne Ackerman, who represents an area of western Salisbury, submitted her resignation by phone and email May 11 to Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich.
Bonaskiewich confirmed receipt of Ackerman’s resignation at the May 14 township board of commissioners’ meeting.
“She has said she wants to concentrate on personal health issues,” Bonaskiewich said.
Ackerman has been a township commissioner for 10 years.
A vote on Ackerman’s resignation was an addition to the May 14 meeting agenda.
Commissioner Rodney Conn, seconded by Commissioner James Seagreaves, made the motion for a vote, which passed 4-0 to accept, “with deep regret,” Ackerman’s resignation.
Before the vote, board of commissioners’ President Deb Brinton said, “None of us want to do this.”
“Now a timeline is ticking for getting a replacement in place,” Bonaskiewich said.
Ackerman had just begun the first year of a four-year term, having been re-elected in the November 2019 general election.
Ackerman, who represents Ward 5, was to serve until Jan. 1, 2024.
Ackerman took the oath of office at the Jan. 6 board of commissioners’ meeting.
“We must look for an applicant to fill the remainder of this year and possibly next year. It has to be clarified on which future ballot the candidate needs to be placed on,” Bonaskiewich said in a phone interview with a reporter for The Press after the May 14 meeting.
There is some uncertainty as to the length of the term for the person who will be appointed to represent the fifth ward and when that person or another person or persons would run for election to complete the term. There could also be a write-in vote for a person seeking the fifth ward seat.
“Our code says until the next municipal election,” Salisbury Township Solicitor Atty. Johh W. Ashley said concerning the length of the appointment.
The next primary election is June 2, postponed from May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The general election is Nov. 3.
After that, the next primary election is in 2021.
“But this November, someone will need to be on the ballot to run for the remainder of the term,” Ashley said of the fifth ward seat.
“Whoever you appoint will fill out the term until the next municipal election,” Ashley said.
The person elected in November apparently would complete the unexpired term.
That person, if he or she chooses, would have to run again in two years, in 2021.
“I want to wish commissioner Ackerman well,” Salisbury Township Assistant Township Manager Sandy Nicolo said after the vote to accept her resignation.