Auditor still wanted

Bellevue will try once again to appoint someone to the position of auditor in the borough.

Although all municipalities hire professional auditors, state law and Bellevue’s home rule charter still require that there be elected auditors. Specifically, Bellevue’s charter requires that there be three elected auditors.

A vacancy in one seat was created on Jan. 2 due to the fact that no one ran for the vacant position in the November general election. Bellevue chose to post a notice on the borough’s Web site rather than advertise the vacancy in the newspaper, which, as solicitor Matt Racunas pointed out, the borough is not required to do under the charter. Only one person applied for the position, and did so after the posted deadline for letters of interest.

Bellevue’s charter states that the borough must have three auditors, and that council has 45 days to fill a vacancy in an elected office. Council did not act within that time period. The fact that Bellevue was operating in violation of its home rule charter was brought up at Tuesday’s pre-council meeting by council member Tom Hrynda.

Council voted to place a newspaper advertisement for the vacancy. Because the 45 days have passed, however, any resident of Bellevue who meets the elction criteria is now entitled to file a petition with the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County seeking appointment to the vacancy. According to Racunas, unless and until the court takes over the matter, council is still able vote on a person to fill the vacant seat.