Roanoke council gets new VP and new member

Due to the resignation of Roanoke Town Council Vice President Michelle Schwieterman at the May 19 meeting, the council had interviews to appoint a new member and took recommendations and voted for a new vice president at the June 16 meeting.

Troy Karshner was unanimously voted in as council vice president, with the movement made by Councilman Nick Altman and the second by Councilman Brian Young.

Karshner has been on the council since mid-2007.
He is the council's liaison to the fire department.

Anne O'Briant was appointed to the vacant council seat. She is a co-owner of Aboite Heating and Cooling with her husband.

Although O'Briant just recently moved back to the Roanoke area, she has owned property in the town for more than 20 years.

O'Briant will be the board liason with the street department.

"I like Roanoke. It's small and it's a friendly town. I would like to see it continue and prosper," she says.

Her vision in making the town better involves growth.

"I think expanding businesses would be a good thing; seeing what types of businesses we could bring in."

When Karshner asked the candidates how each would respond to presenting a hypothetical budget cut, O'Briant responded, "I would like to look at what is currently going on, and I would also like to talk to people that are actually doing the work because those are the people that are going to have a lot of good recommendations on what we could change and how we can make it better."

Other matters discussed at Tuesday's meeting include a grant that the Roanoke Fire Department is going to apply for and an abandoned yard announcement.

Council President John Stoeckley urges that if any resident sees an abandoned yard that needs mowed, they are to report the address to Chris Jenkins, the town's deputy clerk.

The fire department qualifies for a grant through Homeland Security and the federal stimulus package. The department got the go-ahead from the council to set up a proposal that is due July 10 for money to build a new fire station.

The grant pool is $210 million, and Chad Taylor, the Roanoke fire chief, says the government is expecting between 5,000 and 10,000 applications for about 100 grants.

"Our chances are slim, but we qualify," Taylor says.