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Public service important

Public offices can be hard to fill these dayss, but the village of Belmont recently had no problem filling two public service positions.

Village Council welcomed two new members this month following the resignations of councilmen Dan Scott and Shaun Bruce. Scott stepped down after serving several years in his post, and Bruce is moving out of the community and will no longer be eligible to serve.

Filling two council vacancies is no small task in a community of just 346 people, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Such a small population means the pool of potential applicants is quite small, yet two residents — Zachary Kalo and John Rigoli — were ready to step up and serve.

Both submitted letters of interest to fill the seat being vacated by Scott. Kalo was appointed to that seat and, when Bruce’s resignation was announced Thursday, council appointed Rigoli to that seat.

That was a wise move by council members, since it can be quite difficult to find people to serve in public office. During the May 4 primary election, for example, there was only one contested race in all of Belmont County — a contest for the Democrat nomination to the 4th Ward council seat in Martins Ferry.

Being a council member in a small municipality requires more than just attending a meeting and casting votes once a month. In Belmont, council members organize activities and events. In addition, they are often seen out lending a helping hand.

Current council members and Mayor Ron Woods, as well as the late mayor Stan Sobel, deserve much credit for creating an environment that makes people want to help their community.

Kudos to both Scott and Bruce for their long terms of service to the community.

And we commend Kalo and Rigoli for being willing to give it a shot.

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