3 candidates face off for two council seats in Bellefonte’s Ward 1

mmorgan@centredaily.comOctober 28, 2013 

  • Joseph Beigle

    Age: 67

    Occupation: Retired

    Political office held: Bellefonte Borough Council

    Education: Bishop Guilfoyle High School

    Family: Antoinette Beigle, 2 children

    Barry Spicer

    Age: 40

    Occupation: Manufacturing technician

    Political offices held: None

    Education: State College Area High School

    Family: Tracey Spicer, 2 children

    Sheila Stever

    Age: 46

    Occupation: Director of services at Care for People Plus

    Political offices held: None

    Education: Associate degree in business from Penn State

    Family: Alan Stever Sr., two children and one stepchild

Three candidates are vying for two spots in Bellefonte’s Ward 1 election, marking the only contested council race in the municipality.

Joseph Beigle

The only incumbent in the race, Joseph Beigle said he is running again to keep some continuity on the board.

Beigle said he’d like to finish the work that the borough has begun to bring more vibrancy to the town.

“The main thing is to make Bellefonte a friendly place and to continue to keep after the infrastructure in town,” he said.

He specifically cited the work being done with the Garman Theatre and the waterfront revitalization project as possible ways to help draw more businesses and visitors to the borough.

Beigle said the current council has been working well together and he would like to stay on to see that work continue.

He added that the work being done to keep the street and streetscape in good condition will help keep Bellefonte on the right track.

Barry Spicer

Barry Spicer got a taste for local politics when he was helping his friend Kelley Gillette-Walker in the race for district judge.

After meeting some people and getting involved in the action, he decided to try his hand at running for office.

One of the main reasons he decided to join the race is to promote historic preservation, specifically the Garman Theatre. He said the town would lose part of its charm if buildings like that aren’t saved.

“We’re going to lose the actual heart of downtown,” he said.

He said bringing more businesses downtown will be another key to getting more people out on the street and walking through the area.

If he is elected, he said he’d be excited to get the chance to learn the ropes and be there for the residents.

Sheila Stever

Sheila Stever wants to be a direct voice between the Bellefonte Borough Council and the town’s residents.

She said she thinks added communication with locals might be a good way to bridge the gap.

“I feel there is a bit of a disconnect between business owners in the community and the borough,” she said.

Stever said she would like to set up a type of outreach committee to open up lines of communication and get feedback from the public.

She also said she was a supporter of saving the Garman Theatre and historic preservation.

The history of the town is one of its biggest assets, and it’s what draws people to Bellefonte, she said.

Uncontested races

Mayor: Tom Wilson

Ward 2: Randall Brachbill

Ward 3 (elect 2): Paul DeCusati, Gay Dunne

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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