The six Republicans on the board of commissioners also may lean toward picking a candidate who promises to run for a full term in 2015, because even an appointed commissioner has the advantage of incumbency and they will want to retain their majority – although they don’t always vote the same way.
"Tonight's meeting proves we have many candidates who will bring value to the board, each in their own way,” said Osborne after the interviews.
“Ultimately, I believe, the decision will rest on which candidate can convince the board they come with a fresh, conservative perspective, with no allegiance to individuals or group of commissioners, but simply have the best interest of county residents in mind."
The 14 candidates were interviewed, in alphabetical order, during Tuesday night’s meeting of the appointments committee.
Interviews of the first seven began at 6 p.m.
In that group were Angelique M. Bailey of Slatington, Nathan Brown of Emmaus, Browning of Allentown, Norma Cusick of Salisbury, Mike D’Alessandro of Lower Macungie, Kevin W. Dellicker of Weisenberg and Eichenberg of Lower Macungie.
Interviews of the second seven began shortly before 8 p.m.
They were Rob Hamill of Lower Macungie, Amanda Holt of Upper Macungie, Kozuch of Salisbury, Platte B. Moring III of Lower Macungie, Daniel A. Paschke of Coopersburg, Reis of Lower Macungie and Rene Rodriquez of South Whitehall.
At the request of commissioners, the second group of candidates did not attend the first round of interviews and the first seven did not stay for the second round.
One at a time, the candidates sat at a table before the six commissioners.
A couple of them took their iPads with them. Others had paper copies of their answers to the questions they had been sent, and/or their prepared closing remarks.
Each of the six commissioners was allowed to ask each candidate one question and commissioners were able to ask different questions of different candidates.
More than once, a commissioner complained that a colleague had just “stole” a question he or she was about to ask.
Sometimes, the candidates did not answer the question they were asked.
A different commissioner initiated the questioning each time. Some questions put to the candidates sought clarification of written answers they gave to the eight questions commissioners recently sent them.
Candidates were given one minute to answer each question. A few times, it seemed to take almost a minute for commissioners to finish asking their question.
Candidates also were given one minute to summarize why they feel they are the best person to fill the seat or, as Osborne put it, “a final opportunity to make an impression.”
Each candidate sat before the commissioners for a total of about 12 minutes.
Issues discussed included the future of the Cedarbrook nursing home, the budget deficit being faced in 2015 and the possibility of a county tax increase -- all issues the newly-appointed commissioner will face soon after taking office.
No air conditioning
The commissioners meeting room in the county government center was so warm that male commissioners soon shed their sport coats.
After Browning’s interview, Osborne said: “We’re going to pause for a minute, to see if we can cool the room off.”
“No indication that there’s a lot of hot air in the room,” quipped Commissioner David Jones.
“Although it has gone up a couple of degrees since we started,” said Osborne.