BENNER TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR
Term: Six years
Question: Zoning regulations vary between municipalities. Do you believe there should be changes to the zoning regulations in Benner Township? If so, what changes would you recommend?
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Mark J. Capriani, Bellefonte
Date of birth: April 20, 1967
Education: 1989 Penn State, B.A.; 2001 University of Baltimore, MBA
Qualifications: Local businessman and entrepreneur; youth baseball and softball coach; Scouting leader and volunteer; member of the board of directors, Benner Township Water Authority; member, Benner Township Board of Auditors; homeowner and resident of Benner Township, husband and father.
Answer to question: Zoning is an important part of what municipalities do. There need to be common-sense regulations, but when regulations are too restrictive, government fails residents. Zoning regulations in Benner have gotten too burdensome. I want to roll back our restrictive rules to make things work better for families, farmers and businesses. Benner needs a subdivision and land development ordinance, which would allow our farmers and land owners to use their land without added cost, time and burden. Homeowners should be able to improve their property without jumping through a million hoops. Let’s make local government work for residents, not the other way around.
John J. Elnitski Jr., Bellefonte
Date of birth: Nov. 16, 1963
Education: 1985 Penn State, B.S. aerospace engineering; 1995 JD, Franklin Pierce Law Center.
Occupation: Patent attorney
Qualifications: 12 years of service as township supervisor; 17 years as a business owner; first supervisor in Benner Township to bring in external revenues; I care what happens in Benner Township.
Answer to question: The past two elected supervisors campaigned on zoning reform, yet have not introduced changes in four years, as zoning is not the problem as compared to the planning approval process. Benner, like many townships, cannot afford a full-time planning staff without greatly raising taxes and uses the county planning office. This can produce delays for plan approval and zoning changes. I have attended extra meetings to keep the process on track and timely. We continue to amend our zoning based on community requests, yet we cannot please everyone. Citizens usually only hear about issues and not the success stories.