Voters Guide | Halfmoon Township supervisor

November 2, 2013 

HALFMOON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR

Term: Six years

Salary: $1,800

Question: Zoning regulations vary between municipalities. Do you believe there should be changes to the zoning regulations in Halfmoon Township? If so, what changes would you recommend?

(Vote for not more than two.)

REPUBLICAN

Donald B. Houtz

Date of birth: Dec. 6, 1959

Education: State College Area High School

Occupation: Self-employed

Qualifications: I’ve run and owned companies doing business globally, employing 95-plus employees. My company has been awarded the governor’s safety award. The company was used for a Department of Environmental Protection and OSHA training site. The point is, I understand health and environmental and safety issues. I have owned and installed developments up to 62 single-family homes. I have a very broad knowledge of people and community needs. I’ll bring a lot to the table on budget and implementation.

Answer to question: I would help the people in the community make changes that will benefit their future. The supervisors work for the people in the community, not their own agendas. What I wouldn’t do is make changes looking at one piece of the puzzle at a time. I’ll do my best to always consider the big picture and future of the community.

REPUBLICAN/DEMOCRAT

Barbara Spencer

Date of birth: March 23, 1952

Education: Master’s degree in special education; bachelor’s degrees in education and psychology

Occupation: Sixth-grade learning support teacher at West Branch Elementary in Morrisdale

Qualifications: Halfmoon Township supervisor for six-plus years. I’m a farmer and Halfmoon is a rural township. I’m a military veteran and retired from the Navy as a commander, so that just gives me a different slant on the current issues that our whole country is facing. I went to school here, at Penn State, and I grew up in a small town outside Altoona — Bellwood. I just feel that I understand the small-town way of life and the country way of life.

Answer to question: We need to strengthen our zoning, as far as making it more defined. We’re trying so hard to preserve our agricultural zoning, but we still need to allow for some growth and income coming into the township so we can make more parks and provide for services for the folks out here, without sacrificing the rural integrity. That’s my No. 1 goal, to preserve the rural integrity. It’s a tough balance.

DEMOCRAT

Mark Stevenson

Date of birth: Aug. 11, 1961

Education: Bachelor’s degree in pre-law from Penn State, master’s in international economics and U.S. foreign policy from American University, earned chartered financial analyst designation from CFA Institute

Occupation: Senior investment adviser, Wilmington Trust Co.

Qualifications: Served since 2008 as Halfmoon Township supervisor and current chairman; former chairman of Centre Region Council of Governments General Forum; alternate member of the Spring Creek Watershed Commission; member of the Finance Council of Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese.

Answer to question: None at the present time, but I look forward to engaging all citizens of Halfmoon Township in zoning discussions as we work to strengthen our first-of-its-kind, voter-approved Open Space Preservation Lease program that will help preserve Halfmoon Township’s rural nature.

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