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Voters guide: College Township Council

All candidates were asked to respond to the following question:

What are your three top priorities for this position?

College Township Council

Term: 4 years

Salary: $2,500/year

REPUBLICAN

D. Richard Francke

Date of birth: March 30, 1966

Education: 1993, Penn State, B.C. operations management with a minor in business logistics; numerous military schools and certifications.

Occupation: Vice president, University Park Plaza Corp.

Qualifications: Lifelong Centre Region resident, 15+ years in College Township. College Township Planning Commission Zoning Hearing Board, two years. College Township Council, twice selected and appointed to serve including within the Centre Region Council of Governments: Have served on the Public Services and Environment, Public Safety, and Finance Committees. Chief Operating Officer, UPPC, a 100+ employee, 16 entity company, 21 years. Retired Army first sergeant with numerous awards for performance and leadership. Director, treasurer, SmartStart-Centre County, 2013 Rose Cologne Volunteer of the year. SCASD Citizens Advisory Committee for PIAA Athletics, five years.

Answer to question: 1. Guard the quality of life that makes College Township and the Centre Region a special place to live. 2. Push sustainability initiatives supporting long-term ecological balance. Fostering good-paying jobs and affordable housing strengthens College Township and the region. A strong tax base allows us to pursue more of these opportunities. 3. Continue to connect College Township and the township to the region. College Township has incredible recreational assets and neighborhoods. We could go from one to another which can facilitate alternative transportation initiatives. Cooperation with neighboring municipalities is crucial because together we should be able to do more.

Steven Lyncha

Date of birth: Dec. 11, 1973

Education: 1997, Penn State, B.S.

Occupation: Professional civil engineer

Qualifications: Planning Commission, two-plus years; Planning Commission council liaison, two years (attends all council meetings); extensive experience with municipal government, land planning, and municipal infrastructure; Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, vice president; veteran; Mount Nittany Conservancy volunteer; Leadership Centre County, Class of 2012.

Answer to question: Working closely with staff and Council of Governments to minimize rising costs and preserve the lower tax rates in College Township. Ensure a balanced budget that focuses on providing essential services and infrastructure maintenance. Counteract rising costs by ensuring sound land planning that promotes smart growth, redevelopment and economic development in order to increase the tax base and reduce the burden on existing taxpayers, particularly for those on fixed incomes. Work with local leaders and developers to address home affordability through reasonable zoning regulations that allows greater flexibility and reduced costs, but preserves the integrity of existing residential neighborhoods.

DEMOCRAT

Carla Stilson

Date of birth: Sept. 29, 1982

Education: 2004, Penn State, B.S. secondary education.

Occupation: Township Council member; homemaker; doula

Qualifications: College Township Council member, two years.

Answer to question: I plan to continue to bridge the divide between the township and the community by reaching out to residents and helping educate and engaging them in township issues. Another goal I have is to keep my ears and mind open to the many perspectives that come about around contentious issues. I believe that the answers to our tough issues, while not making everyone happy, rest somewhere in hearing everyone out and truly understanding their perspectives. Finally, I am passionate about continuing the affordable/workforce housing conversation in our region. The need must stay at the forefront of our minds.

INDEPENDENT

William H. Sharp

Date of birth: Aug. 6, 1944

Education: B.S., public administration, 1972, Metropolitan State University, Denver; M.A. urban sociology, 1976, University of Colorado.

Occupation: Retired. Involved in community projects, writer, speaker and workshop leader.

Qualifications: Thirty-five years government (military, local, regional and state level), higher education and business. One year Township Council. Board member of nonprofit organizations.

Answer to question: First, maintain the quality of life that makes our community a place we want to live. That involves well-run local and regional government and close attention to the needs and problems of the people we serve. Second, a sound economic future. We do not want to raise taxes and fees. We do want good jobs, businesses that serve our needs and a sense of security. We want a place our children can find good jobs and raise their families. Third, to develop collaboration and cooperation between governments, Penn State, and business and nonprofit interests to achieve the above.

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