Gaudan received the nod Tuesday with four of seven votes on the third tally by council. She faced stiff competition from Joseph McFarlane (D).
Alex Kovach (D) was knocked out on the first vote.
None of the three Republicans crossed party lines while voting for Gaudan. Independent Chris Swenda (I-Middle) and the Democrats, with the exception of Jim Del-Nero (D-Middle), forged an alliance and voted for McFarlane.
As he had done during the previous week's meeting, newly elected Del-Nero, after first leaning toward Kovach, broke party ranks and cast his ballot for Gaudan.
Prior to the vote each candidate spoke briefly and then was asked a series of questions by council.
Gaudan spoke about her military and business experience. She is a five-year Phoenixville resident and United States Naval Academy graduate.
"I was fortunate to have the government pay for my education," said Gaudan. "I should have the opportunity to pay some of that back to the community and that includes serving on borough council."
Swenda asked Gaudan what she would change about Phoenixville and she replied that she would like to change the borough's image.
Kovach, a 20-year former council member and Phoenix Steel worker, started off by saying, "Let's watch and mind the store." He said that his qualifications were evident from his resume that had been previously presented to council.
Kovach then listed what he considered were borough problems dating to the Hurricane Agnes flood in 1972. He cited financial and budget deficiencies, water and sewer system operations, and the abolishment of the tree commission as borough problems caused by council.
Kovach was asked by Councilwoman Tish Jones (D-East) to make "one positive statement about Phoenixville." Only on the second try did Kovach list the establishment of the Phoenixville Plaza.
World War II veteran and retired engineer Joseph McFarlane said, when asked by Swenda, what he would change, "I don't know enough how things work."
He said that as a candidate he hoped to make decisions like an engineer and constantly re-evaluate through constant problem solving.
Council President Jim Lolli (R-East) called for the first vote to include all three candidates, with a majority of seven votes needed to elect a new council member.
In that first vote Buckwalter, Lolli, and Councilman Bob Tigro (R- North) voted for Gaudan while Jones, Councilman John Messina (D- North) and Swenda cast ballots for McFarlane. Del-Nero voted for Kovach.
Lolli called for the round two vote to be for a single candidate and that candidate was McFarlane. Jones, Messina, and Swenda voted "yes" for a McFarlane grab at the open seat, while four council members voted against a McFarlane candidacy. Buckwalter, Del-Nero, Lolli and Tigro voted "no" or against McFarlane.
On the third vote, Gaudan was elected by council when Buckwalter, Del-Nero, Lolli and Tigro voted to fill the West Ward seat with Gaudan.
Following the election Gaudan said that she was "looking forward to helping council continue in a positive direction."
After the vote Kovach said that he was "very disappointed."
"I thought this would give me a chance to work for the community for the next two years," said Kovach. "I wish council well."
McFarlane was realistic following the vote. "It's up to them," said McFarlane. "It had nothing to do with me. I'm satisfied of the way it was handled."
In other business, council filled committee chairs and other positions. Jones will serve as chair of the Community Development Committee. Messina and Lolli will serve as co-chairs of the Finance Committee. Swenda will chair the Parks/ Property/Recreation Committee. Tigro will chair the Personnel and Police Committee while Buckwalter will chair the Utilities/Health/Sanitation committee.
Assignments include the selection of Messina as liaison to the steel site development. Messina stepped down as recreation board chair and Swenda assumed the position.
Buckwalter was chosen as the liaison to the fire department.
Don Edwards was chosen as Chamber of Commerce liaison while Lolli was picked as a member of the Regional Planning Commission.
Main Street Board Member Messina will act as the Main Street Manager liaison.