SUSSEX — A new borough attorney squeaked into Sussex at the council's organizational Mayor & Council meeting on Jan. 7.
Francis J. McGovern, of the firm McGovern and Roseman, P.A., will take over for John Ursin for 2014.
McGovern was chosen over Ursin and and another member of his law firm, Robert McBriar after about a 10-minute debate.
"It is very important who we get to represent Sussex Borough," Councilwoman Linda Masson said.
Councilman Salvatore Lagutta also said the Personnel Committee thoroughly interviewed all potential candidates. As a member of the committee, he asked Mayor Jonathan Rose why McGovern had been chosen since the committee recommended Ursin and then McBriar.
Rose said he used logic in narrowing the eight candidates to three.
Masson said Ursin was caught representing Sussex Inn in the state Department of Transportation negotiations at the same time as representing the Borough.
She had a problem with both attorneys, Ursin and McBriar, because he assisted Ursin and worked closely together with him.
"We need an attorney everyone on the council can go to," Masson said.
Rose said the Ursin issues were uncomfortable and McGovern is not related to the Ursin issues. The third attorney, he said, was "quite expensive."
Lagattuta said he would have liked to have stayed in the same law firm in order to move ahead smoothly.
“Ursin being involved in the DOT negotiations was a mistake," he said. "No one disagrees. However, his work was beneficial.”
The council was tied 3-3 as Rose broke the tie in favor of McGovern.
"We are all here for the same reason," newly elected councilwoman Georgeanna Stoll said. "We make honest decisions of what is best for the borough, as we look at all the paperwork."