Township worker, board chairman battle in Boggs Township

crosenbl@centredaily.comNovember 2, 2013 

  • Terry Gates

    Age: 25

    Occupation: Road worker for Boggs Township

    Education: Bald Eagle Area High School, 2006

    Political offices held: None

    Family: Married, one daughter

    Tom Poorman

    Age: 53

    Occupation: Lab technician for Supelco Inc.

    Education: Bald Eagle Area High School, 1978

    Political offices held: Three terms as Boggs Township supervisor

    Family: Married, two grown daughters

A township road worker and a lab technician are vying for a six-year seat on the Boggs Township Board of Supervisors.

Terry Gates, a Republican and political newcomer, works for Boggs Township. The Democratic incumbent, Tom Poorman, is employed by Supelco Inc. in Spring Township.

Both grew up in Boggs Township and graduated from Bald Eagle Area High School.

Gates, 25, a Yarnell resident, said he decided to run for his first political office because, after maintaining the township’s roads, he wanted to help shape its future.

“I’ve been working for the township for three years, and I wanted to get my foot in the door and take a bigger step in the township,” he said.

As a supervisor, he said, he would look at relaxing some of the township’s zoning codes, such as green space requirements on property lots. He said some of the zoning ordinances are overly restrictive.

“In some ways, yeah,” he said. “I think that’s been one gripe I’ve had since I started here. I’ve questioned why we’re so strict about it.”

On the job, he said, he hears complaints about roadwork — such as grading a berm or trimming trees — but can’t do much other than pass along the concerns. He said he hopes voters give him more of a say in solving problems

“I think they can count on me,” he said. “I hope I’ve gained their trust and done as much as I could for them with the power I had. I hope they can trust me with a little more responsibility with the township.”

Poorman, 53, a Runville resident and the current board chairman, is seeking a fourth term.

“We’ve got some work I’d like to see us get done with the board,” he said. “We have a good working relationship on the board, and I’d like to continue that.”

He pointed to an improvements study being done for Davidson Road in Wingate and a potential runoff water system in McCartneytown near the Howard Township border as examples of road projects he would like to guide to completion.

He’s also running on his track record. He said in recent years, the township has completed three new bridges, improved Devil’s Elbow Road near Yarnell, joined a successful regional fire protection contract with the Milesburg Fire Company and picked up new businesses to boost the tax base.

“With all the improvements we’ve made in the township in the past six years, we have not raised our taxes at all on township residents,” he said.

He said he “wants to stress to the people that I don’t take the job lightly.”

“I understand it’s a responsibility, and I appreciate the people who have faith in me, that have elected me for 18 years,” he said. “I hope to be able to continue to do that.”

Chris Rosenblum can be reached at 231-4620. Follow him on Twitter@CRosenblumNews.

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