SCRANTON -- A vacancy on the Lackawanna County Board of Commissioners has been filled. Judges have picked former state Representative Ed Staback to fill in as a commissioner. He was sworn Friday afternoon at the Lackawanna County Courthouse.
That vacancy needed to be filled after former Commissioner Corey O'Brien stepped down earlier this year. O'Brien is a Democrat, so the Democratic Committee had to make three nominations for his replacement. Those three candidates were interviewed at the courthouse Friday and the judges selected Staback.
Staback has been sworn in several times over his 28-year career as a state representative. This time, he was sworn in as a Lackawanna County commissioner.
But Staback insists he won't have such a swearing in again. He will serve Lackawanna County through 2015 to fill a vacancy. Then a newly elected commissioner will take his spot.
"I'm looking forward to utilizing the 28 years of experience I acquired dealing with state government and combining that with the 28 years experience I have dealing with municipalities and local government. Taking both those experiences and combining it with county government," Staback said.
Staback was selected by county judges over two other candidates nominated by the Democratic Committee, former County Commissioner Joe Corcoran and director of the Lackawanna County Tax Claim Bureau Ron Koldjeski. Judges said their decision on Staback was unanimous.
Commissioner Staback was sworn in almost immediately. He says he plans to meet with his two fellow commissioners as early as Monday to get a plan for 2015.
"So much of what county government does depends on state funding. It depends on cooperation with the state. So to have people that can go and pick up the phone, have the contacts, and dial in really does a lot to move the county forward," said Commissioner Jim Wansacz.
"Eddie Staback has given 28 years of his life to the people of the up-valley. Now he's going to have an opportunity to do it county wide,” said Commissioner Pat O'Malley.
This is an unusual makeup for the Lackawanna County Commissioners as all three are Democrats. That's because former minority commissioner Pat O’Malley switched parties to be able to run with commissioner Wansacz this year.