It was a dramatic moment of silence.
Brad Osborne, chairman of the nine Lehigh County commissioners, asked if any of them wanted to make a motion to replace him as chairman.
None of the other eight commissioners said a word.
After waiting a moment, Osborne said “thank you” --- and was applauded by people in the audience at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Osborne raised the issue when he asked if commissioners had any motions to bring up at the meeting that were not on the agenda.
Then he said: “I would like to at least bring this out in the open. I know there was desire expressed sometime in the last week or so to perhaps name another chair to chair this board. Is there a motion to do that this evening?”
After the meeting, Osborne declined to comment on what didn’t happen when he invited his colleagues to initiate action to replace him.
Osborne is one of seven Republican county commissioners. On Nov. 15, five Republicans on the board needed one more vote to override County Executive William Hansell’s veto of the budget they had passed on Oct. 24.
Those Republicans wanted to cut the county budget by $5 million. Hansell proposed cutting it by $3.5 million.
Rather than agreeing with the Republican majority, Osborne supported Hansell’s budget, as did Republican Percy Dougherty and Democrats Dan McCarthy and David Jones. That killed the veto override attempt by Tom Creighton, Vic Mazziotti, Scott Ott, Lisa Scheller and Michael Schware.
During debate on the 2013 county budget at the Oct. 24 commissioners meeting, Mazziotti took issue with one of Osborne’s decisions and told him: “I will remember this when it comes time to vote for the next chairman.”
Commissioners could pick a new chairman at their Jan. 7 reorganizational meeting.