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Celoron Mayor Richard Slagle has a problem, one he hopes to solve by early next week.

Absentee ballots counted Tuesday show Republican Pamela D. Piazza and Democrat Clifton Darling deadlocked at 185 votes each in a trustee race to fill a one-year vacancy. Thus, Slagle gets to fill the seat.

While Ms. Piazza would be the preferable choice for the Republican mayor, the vacancy is currently being filled by David C. Lewis, also a Republican.

Lewis ran for a two-year seat held by Democrat Susan K. Schrecengost, who carried a one-vote lead on election night and with absentee ballots counted, nailed down a win -- 194 to 190.

Slagle says he has two well-qualified Republicans to choose from. To complicate matters, he could name any other qualified village resident to the seat. The appointee need not be one of those on the ballot.

Slagle said he will consider the matter this week and try to reach "a fair decision."

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