MECHANICSBURG – With heavy hearts, the Mechanicsburg Village Council gathered Monday for its first meeting without longtime member Billie “Bill” Farley, who passed away on March 16.
Farley, 66, joined council nearly three decades ago in 1988. During his tenure, he served under a handful of mayors, including current Mayor Greg Kimball, who said Farley was an invaluable member of council.
“Having spent almost 30 years on council he was a warehouse of knowledge,” Kimball said. “He always had the best interest of the community at heart.”
Kimball added the village’s fire and EMS workers held a special place in Farley’s heart.
“He had a strong belief in our emergency personnel, and he appreciated their service,” Kimball said. “We are going to miss him and his knowledge.”
Village Administrator April Huggins-Davis said Farley loved Mechanicsburg and was always someone the village could count on in a pinch.
“He was always willing to help in whatever department needed help,” she said.
Farley took his commitment to the village seriously, Huggins-Davis added, and he rarely missed a council meeting despite his health issues in recent years.
“He showed up no matter how good he felt, because he saw it as his duty to come down and participate,” Huggins-Davis said.
While Farley was committed to serving the public who elected him to council, he rarely missed an opportunity to share a laugh with his fellow members.
“He was a character, and he had a great sense of humor,” Huggins-Davis said.
To honor Farley and his playful character, a walking cane (he was never without one) and a stuffed yellow duck, symbolizing Farley’s favorite character, Donald Duck, was placed at his seat at the council table on Monday.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Farley, who was laid to rest on Tuesday in Maple Grove Cemetery, Mechanicsburg, is survived by his wife, Brenda, two siblings, four children, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Filling the void
Village residents interested in serving out Farley’s elected term (expires Dec. 31) are asked to submit an application or drop off a resume at the Mechanicsburg Municipal Building, 18 N. Main St., by 5 p.m. March 31.
The plan, Huggins-Davis said, is for council to interview candidates beginning at 6 p.m. on April 3 and to appoint someone during the 6:30 p.m. council meeting scheduled to follow the interview session.
If council is unable to interview all interested parties on April 3, the appointment of a replacement can be made at a later date as council has 30 days to fill the seat, Huggins-Davis said. Once the 30-day period passes, the appointment falls on the shoulders of Kimball.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.