Mark Singer resigns council position

PAT FRIDGEN
Mark Singer, left, is congratulated by Greencastle mayor Robert Eberly after his appointment to borough council April 6, 2009.

Mark Singer resigned last week as a member of Greencastle Borough Council after taking a position as District Court Administrator in the 39th Judicial District, based in Chambersburg at the Franklin County Courthouse. Singer turned in his notice Nov. 3, with the effective date Nov. 14, as his new job forbade being involved in partisan politics.

Singer was appointed to council in April 2009 after the midterm resignation of Chris Grimm. He ran in the fall 2009 election and was chosen by the voters to complete the term, which would have ended Dec. 31, 2011.

Borough manager Kenneth Womack said council needed to accept the resignation at its Dec. 6 meeting, and then would have 30 days to appoint someone. Citizens would be given the opportunity to express interest in the post.

Womack expected the person to be appointed in January, and the new council member would have to run for office in 2011 to keep the seat.

Criminal justice background

Singer, 40, a Waynesboro native, has worked in the criminal justice system for many years. After obtaining a B.A. in administration of justice from Penn State University, he worked for two years in Frederick, Md. as a public defender’s aid. He then became victim/witness coordinator in the Washington County prosecutor’s office in Hagerstown, Md. For the past six years he has been criminal justice program director at Kaplan University in Hagerstown. He earned a master’s degree in criminal justice through Shippensburg University and Kaplan.

Singer replaces Neil Burkholder, who served as court administrator for three years. He left in August to become the Adams County executive director of probation services.

Singer will be employed by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. The AOPC, with offices in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, was established in 1969 as the administrative arm of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Its purpose was to assist the court in operating the state’s court system.

“It seems like a nice fit,” Singer said of the position. “I’ve always enjoyed interacting with court personnel.”

While he appreciated serving on borough council, and admitted the 18 months passed quickly, Singer said he had to put his career first.

“I’m excited to start,” he continued. “Much of my time has been spent in the courtroom anyway. There are some similarities. I wanted to get back in the field.”

The Department of Court Administration, located in the Franklin County courthouse, provides services in court calendaring and caseflow management, control of the daily court schedule,  supervision of some court programs, budget and personnel management for the courts, jury management, supervision of district judges and central criminal court.

Franklin County President Judge Douglas Herman did not return a call for comment by press time.