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Voters Guide 2019: council and supervisor races in Centre County

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Voters Guide 2019

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania-Citizen Education Fund compiled this Voters Guide for state and countywide races in the Nov. 5 election.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 5. For more information or to find your polling place, visit

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Bellefonte Borough Council Ward 1

Candidates (choose 1):

Douglas A. Johnson

Party: D/R

Date of Birth: Jan. 20, 1951

Education: Bellefonte Area High School US Army Signal School Engineering courses, Job related.

Qualifications: One term Bellefonte Planning Commission; one four-year term Bellefonte Borough Council

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: 1. Formulate the budget and enforce ordinances and resolutions, adopt a budget and the difficult task of levying taxes when needed. Work with the Borough administration and the tax base to formulate a budget affordable to the residents of Bellefonte. We need to find other resources to fund our Borough and infrastructure. 2. Consider studies to consolidate both police, and fire services in the Borough of Bellefonte and surrounding townships. Approve expenditures and hire employees in the best interest of the borough residents. 3. Be a problem solver as an agent for the borough citizens, be the recipient of complaints, ideas and suggestions of the borough residents. Thus being a public servant to our borough residents. Make every effort to attract new commerce to Bellefonte. Work closely with county government to exchange ideas and infrastructure demands within the Borough of Bellefonte. This can only be accomplished by open dialog between the Borough and County officials.

Bellefonte Borough Council Ward 2

Candidates (choose 2):

Deborah Cleeton

Party: D

Date of Birth: 1951

Education: Graduate State College Area High School

Qualifications: Bellefonte Zoning Hearing Board; board of directors, Center for Alternatives in Community Justice; planning committees, Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair/Bellefonte Victorian Christmas; volunteer, RSVP

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: Public transportation: Advocate for the use of public transportation to reduce traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions. Renewable energy: Encourage pilot programs to explore renewable energy generation for the residents and businesses within the Borough. Considerate Development: Promote economic development that supports the needs of all citizens of our community.

Gina Thompson

Party: Dem

Date of Birth: Jan. 31, 1984

Education: M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Penn State University. B.A. Secondary Education, Social Studies. Penn State University

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gthompsonbellefontecouncil

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My top three priorities as a Bellefonte Borough Council member are to 1) enhance and support outdoor recreation in this region; 2) help to develop a successful and thriving downtown; and 3) maintain a fiscally responsible budget. I am deeply passionate about the outdoors. There is nothing more wonderful about this region than its beautiful forests, streams and availability for outdoor recreation. Outdoor recreation brings in tourism and positively affects towns that take advantage of it. I look forward to supporting opportunities that bring people into our region to experience all that we have to offer in regards to the outdoors. My other passion is local living and local community. I’ve been a resident of Bellefonte for 15 years and it’s been exciting to see this town become a vibrant and energetic community. People from all over the region and state are visiting Bellefonte and eager to experience what we have to offer. I will continue promote growth and sustainability in our community and to support the local businesses in any way that I can. Finally, as chair of the finance committee, I understand how important it is that residents do not see large increases in their taxes. Therefore, it’s important to me to carefully examine our expenditures and ask the difficult questions of how, why, and where borough money goes. My goal is to continue to maintain a fiscally responsible budget as we have now and to prevent unnecessary spending.

Bellefonte Borough Council Ward 3

Candidates (choose 1):

Joanne Tosti-Vasey

Party: Dem

Campaign Website: www.facebook.com/JoanneTV4PDSC

Date of Birth: 1953

Education: Ph.D. Penn State, M.S. Virginia Tech, B.S. Virginia Tech

Qualifications: Member of council since 2016; current president of council; vice-chair, Spring Creek Watershed Commission; vice-president, Bellefonte Historic Preservation Foundation; member, Bellefonte Inter-Valley Chamber of Commerce; chair, Centre County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; civil rights and women’s rights activist

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JTostiVaseyBellefonteCouncil

Twitter: @tosti-vasey

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: If re-elected, I will continue to 1) Work with the business and the arts/cultural communities (e.g., Downtown Bellefonte, Inc.; Bellefonte Inter-Valley Chamber of Commerce; Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association; Historic Bellefonte, Inc., etc.) to continue developing a vibrant downtown Bellefonte. 2) Work with the county government to balance the needs of our shared town. Since becoming a member of council, I worked with the county commissioners to create a successful annual joint town hall meeting where both the county and Bellefonte Borough presents what’s happening here and then listening and responding to community questions. 3) Plan for and develop an integrated Waterfront District and downtown Commercial District in an architecturally and environmentally sensitive and appropriate manner. This includes working with the Bellefonte Historic and Architectural Review Board, the Industrial Authority, and the multiple community preservation organizations. These priorities, however, won’t come without due diligence and oversight. We need elected officials who are concerned about an open and responsive local government who listen to the public and who work with local businesses for an improved downtown. I’ll fight for these priorities.

Benner Township Board of Supervisors

Candidates (choose 1):

Thomas Kalinowski

Party: Dem

Date of Birth: Sept. 18, 1962

Education: B.A. History, University of Delaware

Qualifications: Concerned citizen

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thomas.kalinowski.142

Twitter: kalinowski4ben1

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My top priority will be climate change. Last year was, by far, the wettest ever in Benner Township. State College normally averages 40 inches of rain a year; last year it reached 64 inches. This is not a unique event - this is the new normal. Benner Township needs to adopt new strategies to deal with a new climate. In the short term, we need to create a literal rainy-day fund to deal with climate-related emergencies. In the long term, we need to update the township’s zoning ordinance to reflect the new reality. Another top priority is police protection. Unlike neighboring Spring and Patton Townships, Benner does not have its own police force, instead relying on the State Police for law enforcement. A plan is now in place in Harrisburg to charge municipalities like ours for State Police protection - under the current formula Benner would have to pay over half a million dollars a year. Whether share the Spring Township police force, continue to use the State Police, or create our own police force, we’re going to have to find a way to pay for it. Finally, our township’s residents are concerned about the current Board’s efforts to use a rezoning effort to reduce environmental protection for Spring Creek, which is the jewel of Centre County and the state’s top trout fishing stream. I want to see our environmental protections maintained, which will also involve mean anticipating the effects of climate change.

Larry J. Lingle

Party: Rep

Campaign Website: Larrylingleforsupervisor.com

Date of Birth: Sept. 24, 1955

Education: Graduation from State College Area High School; Graduation from Centre County Vo-Tech

Qualifications: Faith United Methodist, Mission Team Leader Benner Twsp Planning Commission Sowing Seeds in Belize, board member

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: Improve communication with township residents (Facebook); Helping to review current zoning issues with upgrades to be user friendly to current land owners; Help to provide better road conditions.

College Township Council

Candidates (choose 3):

Dustin Best

Party: N

Date of Birth: Aug. 27, 1983

Education: M.S. Biotechnology B.S. Biology A.A.S Nanotechnology

Qualifications: Leadership, values, vision. Quality professional, veteran and National Guard member, Penn State and Lock Haven Alum, family man, avid outdoorsman.

Facebook: @BestCollegeTownship

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: It all begins and is centered with vision: To be the Centre Region leader in sustainable economic development, environmental stewardship and community engagement. To accomplish this these three lines of effort, we must consider the following practices: 1. Economic development • Invest in small business, keep what we have and attract more. Lean on local “downtown” atmospheres • Sustain existing larger commercial business • Attract more innovative companies and small industrial, such as renewable energy and sustainability businesses 2. Environmental stewardship • Invest and promote in renewable energy-this is the future of both a healthy earth and a thriving economy (commercial business, small business, residential)-Green building codes, etc. • Reduce waste, continue to work with the COG on education and easier ways to recycle, etc. • Preserve open space and offer incentive to do so 3. Community • Develop a township vision and community mission • Continue to foster a relationship to the Penn State. Lean on the expertise available right next door for solutions to issues. • Transparency and improve access to ordinances. Where does all our tax money go. It isn’t easy to find our ordinances and comply as a good citizen. • Work better and more consistently with our neighboring municipalities • Offer solutions to issues and make resources available

D. Richard Francke

Party: D/R

Date of Birth: March 30, 1966

Education: Diploma, State College Area High School; Bachelor of Science, Operations Management; Minor, Business Logistics, Pennsylvania State University

Qualifications: Retired First Sergeant, Pennsylvania Army National Guard; Previous Member, College Township Zoning Hearing Board; Previous Commissioner, College Township Planning Commission; Current Councilman, College Township Council; Current Commissioner, Centre County Planning Commission

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: One of the many projects I’ve had the honor of participating with my Council peers on is the development of a draft mission statement for College Township: “To protect and enhance quality of life, while facilitating responsible growth and maintaining harmony between rural and urban areas, in an efficient and responsible manner for all its citizens.” This mission statement is supported by a number of goals that help focus my and, hopefully, the township’s efforts. Of those, my top three priorities of the six currently proposed are: to promote economic (re)development activities that increase citizen access to quality work opportunities while maintaining the township’s tax base; to insure the availability and access to adequate and affordable housing for every resident; and to facilitate township growth while protecting and preserving the environment and maximizing the use of public infrastructure. None of the above can occur in exclusion of any of the others. To accomplish them will require good communication to ensure our elected and appointed officials understand the wants, desires and needs of those they represent. With that understanding, sound planning principles must be employed to chart the path forward via zoning, ordinances, policies, etc. Finally, the path will require leadership to make the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions to keep the township moving forward without sacrificing what we hold dear today.

Steven J. Lyncha

Party: Rep

Candidate did not respond.

Carla Stilson

Party: D

Campaign Website: carlaforcouncil.org

Date of Birth: Sept. 29, 1982

Education: B.S. Secondary Education- English & Communications, Penn State University

Qualifications: Six years on College Township Council

Facebook: Carla Stilson for College Township Council

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: An elected official’s priorities often come out as “sticking points” that they bring up repeatedly, whatever issue comes across their desk. My top three are the following: 1) Communication and Readability. It’s our responsibility to provide information via a variety of media. That information, as well as our rules and regulations, should be clear, concise and at an 8th-grade reading level. 2) Connection. I constantly seek ways to connect spaces so people can experience their community without relying on cars. College Township has a great start in this regard, but there remain many opportunities to improve. 3) Affordability. The mean household income in our township has been outpacing the state average for decades, which means many of our most valuable community members can no longer afford to live in our community. I am always looking at how our decisions will affect our neighbors who don’t have flexibility in their budgets.

Paul Takac

Party: D

Campaign Website: www.Paul4CollegeTownship.com

Date of Birth: April 25, 1965

Education: B.A. State University of New York at Buffalo M.A. Southern Methodist University M.S. Maryland University of Integrative Health

Qualifications: Successful 30-plus year career in business and education. Long time resident of College Township and the Centre Region.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Paul-Takac-for-College-Township-Council-103208741055060

Twitter: @Paul4CollegeTwp

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: In College Township we must strike the right balance between economic growth and quality of life for those who live and work here. Out of date zoning and ordinances must be updated and modernized to encourage desirable development. Residents already face significant impacts, such as increased residential traffic, from recent development that must also be addressed. Additionally, I support the development of a comprehensive College Township Land Use plan to guide future decision-making. Finally, I will make it a priority to increase township council’s communication and engagement with the community. Not only will I promote the township’s social media communication strategy, I plan to focus on proactive outreach and improved responsiveness to ensure that all stakeholders are heard. To address these and other issues I will leverage the values, skills and experience gained over a successful 30+ year career in business and education in order to partner with residents, business owners, and community organizations as we navigate this time of significant challenge and great opportunity.

Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors Ward 1

Candidates (choose 1):

Laura Dininni

Party: Dem

Date of Birth: March 14, 1968

Education: BS, Psychology, 1991

Qualifications: I’m a 30 year resident of the region, and an active community member knowledgeable about the issues.

Facebook: https://fb.me/LauraDForFergusonTownshipSupervisor

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My first priority is that citizens are given a seat at the table and voice in decision-making. I’ll establish citizen advisory committees to assist with important decisions affecting the community. Committees I’ve helped to establish include the Township Parks Committee and a Sourcewater Protection Stakeholder Committee. I strongly support government that’s transparent, accessible and responsive to citizens. I’ll continue to work one-on-one with, and advocate for citizens. And I’ll continue to build an economic development strategy that invests in our natural and agricultural heritage. We have a beautiful natural world around us in Ferguson Township. Not only beautiful, it is also a solid base on which our agricultural economy was founded and a way to grow the economy sustainably. I will continue to work with the residents of Ferguson Township to plan and invest in economic and community development that builds on the natural beauty and heritage of the Township.

Ralph F. Wheland

Party: Rep

Date of Birth: May 4, 1950

Education: Graduate of State College Area High School, U.S. Air Force Electronics School

Qualifications: I am a lifelong Ferguson Township resident who has served 23 years on the planning commission, at times as the chair. I have also served as the Ferguson Township representative to the Centre Region Planning Commission and on various subcommittees throughout the years focusing on local development and township ordinances.

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: 1. Fiscal responsibility through prudent use of township resources and tax revenue. Ferguson Township has historically been conservative in budget management and I would strive to continue that policy. 2. Intelligent development and farmland preservation. Growth is vital to a community, but must be carefully planned as permitted through zoning. 3. Quality of life. I would support our police, and public works departments as they ensure and enhance public safety. I would promote development of parks and open space for resident recreation and athletic opportunities.

Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors Ward 2

Candidates (choose 1):

Prasenjit Mitra

Party: Dem

Date of Birth: May 9, 1971

Education: Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2003 M.S. Computer Science, The University of Texas at Austin, 1994 B. Tech. (Hons.), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 1993

Qualifications: I am not a politician. I have been my academic my whole life. I have extensive leadership experience and want to use my skills to serve my township. I have been chosen as a Fellow in the Academic Leadership program for the Big 10 Academic Alliance in 2019. I have served as the Associate Dean for Research for the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Prior to that I was the chair of the faculty council (equivalent to a department chair) in our college. I have raised over $4 million dollars in research funding and successfully spent it to pursue high quality research.

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: 1. Citizen Engagement and Involvement: Use my information technology background to figure out how we can inform and get better participation from our citizens in municipal governance and decisions. Website improvements, more effective use of social media, comprehensive communication strategies, engaging with community activists and action groups, hosting or facilitating community days/events have all been shown to be effective. 2. Climate Change: We need prudent and sustainable development of our township. We need to preserve the farmlands where advisable and we need to develop our town sustainably to leave a better place for our children and grandchildren. I will focus my efforts towards sustainable plans for evidence-based, cost-effective methods to reduce the carbon footprint of our township. 3. Responsible Spending: My objective is to get the best value for any township money we spend. I am not penny-wise/pound-foolish. That is, my objective is not always to reduce current spending if it increases our costs down the road. But, I want to be a very prudent steward of our taxpayers’ money. How much money do we have? What is the best way to spend that money? I am a deliberate decision-maker not afraid of investing in our future but I also want to cut waste wherever I can to get the best possible deal for our taxpayers.

Janet Whitaker

Party: Rep

Date of Birth: April 11, 1950

Education: BA. Social Science

Qualifications: High School teacher for 24 years, Ferguson Township Supervisor 3 years

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: If elected, I would like to help in passing legislation that encourages family values. As an alternative to digital entertainment, I would emphasize family activities through the development and maintenance of parks. In regards to the general welfare of the community, I would support the police and first responders in keeping our community safe from drugs and gangs. Safety and a healthy community are important. Maintaining roadways, finding alternative ways to reduce traffic and remaining sensitive to our townships infrastructure are things I am passionate about. I would like to see our township be on the cutting edge in the treatment and eradication of Lyme disease. Educating the public about how prevalent the tick problem is in Ferguson Township is key. I would work to encourage well planned business development in the township. Job are vital to living in a dynamic community. If elected, I would listen to my constituents ideas and concerns when weighing and making decisions that affect our community.

Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors Ward 3

Candidates (choose 1):

Patty Stephens

Party: Dem

Date of Birth: 53 years old

Education: BA - Penn State, MSSA - Case Western Reserve

Qualifications: 24 years as a Navy Wife active in military organizations and community service at each duty station. I was a proud stay at home mom/foundation for our children through our seven duty stations and countless moves (domestic and overseas).

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My top three priorities would be protecting the environment, the growth and protection of public transportation and community engagement. I believe addressing each of these can be done through personal education, practice and active listening. I enjoy living in a university town that offers many classes and lectures on environmental issues. I enjoy the information and the discussions. As a non driver, I practice the use of public transit daily. Advocating for increased use of public transit is very important to me. Having always been the “new person,” I have made a habit of getting involved as a way of knowing my community and neighbors. I enjoy giving back to each community that I live in.

Jeremie Thompson

Party: Rep

Campaign Website: http://www.jeremiethompson.com

Date of Birth: March 4, 1989

Education: Penn State University, 2012: BS in Labor and Employment Relations with concentrations in Human Resources & Organizational Leadership; and a Minor in Business and The Liberal Arts.

Qualifications: Ferguson Township Planning Commission & Centre Regional Planning Commission Representative. Career experience in Customer Service and Retail Management.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JeremieFTWP

Twitter: twitter.com/JeremieFTWP

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: 1. Housing: Promote housing options that are more inclusive to families, young professionals, seniors, and people with disabilities. We need to collaborate with residents, housing professionals, the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG), and other stakeholder groups collectively to create solutions that address the housing concerns and needs of the township. 2. Transportation: Transportation improvements that will mitigate traffic issues while ensuring safety throughout our neighborhoods. We have numerous options from education, engineering and enforcement that we can implement to address cut-through traffic, speeding, dangerous intersections/roads, school bus safety concerns, etc. Furthermore, we should look ahead at the future of multi-modal transportation and ways we can better serve our residents no matter how they travel around the township. 3. Planning: Analyze the impacts of current development and explore/plan for future development opportunities. We should address long-term planning in a smart and proactive manner. In addition, further development should take into account the capabilities of fire protection & public safety, transportation, and other essential services and resources.

Ferguson Township Supervisor At Large

Candidates (choose 1):

Lisa Strickland

Party: D

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lisaforFerguson

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: As supervisor, my top priorities will focus on preserving and enhancing our quality of life in Ferguson Township: Protecting our natural and agricultural areas, responsible budgeting and spending, and ensuring public safety. In the face of increasing growth and development pressures, all three of these issues pose challenges to the township. To ensure the protection of natural resources and sustainability of agriculture, it will be vital that we preserve the Regional Growth Boundary and concentrate development within this area. I will be committed to managing the rising costs of infrastructure and public services in a fair and equitable way through strategic spending and critical reviews of budget line items. Finally, I will pursue long range planning with input from across the community to ensure that public safety needs from emergency services to safe pedestrian crossings and bike lanes are prioritized and funded.

Halfmoon Township Supervisor - 4 year term

Candidates (choose 1):

Patricia Hartle

Party: R

Candidate did not respond to question.

Frank Keshvari

Party: D

Date of Birth: Jan. 16, 1958

Education: BS

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: 1 - Balance Budget 2 - Watch expenses 3 - Cater to taxpayers

Halfmoon Township Supervisor - 6 year term

Candidates (choose 2):

Charles Beck

Party: R

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: You should be free to do what you want with your property, so I’d like to reduce ordinances requiring permits for activities such as building an accessory structure like a deck, shed, gazebo or play structure. It’s also important to invest money in infrastructure. Some well populated roads could use widening, shoulder work or pothole repair. But this money has to come from somewhere, and it shouldn’t come from raising taxes. Instead, some areas of spending could be cut to allow for the money to be used more wisely. We should also make the municipal building on Municipal Lane more accessible to residents, while also fully utilizing the building for township use, instead of renting additional space. I’ve lived in Stormstown my whole life, and I love the balance between rural and urban living. But now, Halfmoon Township is becoming too similar to State College. Let’s keep Halfmoon Township rural.

David Piper

Party: R

Candidate did not respond to question.

Mark Stevenson

Party: D

Date of Birth: Aug. 11, 1961

Education: BA - Penn State: Prelaw; MA- American University: International Economics and U.S. Foreign Policy; Chartered Financial Analyst, (CFA)

Qualifications: Served for 11 years as Halfmoon Township Supervisor, including Chair of the Board multiple years; Served on the SEDA-COG Board of Directors; Served as Vice Chair on the Spring Creek Watershed Commission; Currently Vice Chair and Halfmoon’s representative to the Upper Bald Eagle - Halfmoon Council of Governments; Certificate of Completion - Penn State Economic Development in Pennsylvania Course; Working with Port Matilda Volunteer Fire Company to help strengthen their membership and finances;

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My three top priorities: 1) Build the financial strength/viability of the volunteer fire companies and EMS providers that keep our township safe; 2) Explore ways to purchase the development rights for some or all the land in Halfmoon Township that abuts Patton Township near Grays Woods to keep it ag land forever; and 3) Build community in Halfmoon Township so our residents can enjoy an increasingly connected and vibrant place to live. Strengthening our first responders: We live in a region that is the largest in the state still supported by volunteer fire companies, but these public safety bodies are struggling mightily to find volunteers and to stay financially solvent. And they face these struggles to keep us safe purely as volunteers. I will address this crisis by supporting significant increases in our annual budgets to fund these organizations and do everything I can to drive up their membership ranks. Exploring permanently preserving land: While a long shot, I would love to use the township’s Open Space Preservation Program to leverage the county’s Ag Land preservation program and private donors’ funds to attempt to negotiate the purchase of development rights so this land can never be developed. I will work with interested land preservation organizations to pursue this goal. Building Community: I will seek to establish a Halfmoon Citizens Sustainability Group to pursue more sustainable ways to conduct township business, which in the long run saves us all money.

Harris Township Board of Supervisors

Candidates (choose 1):

Bruce E. Lord

Party: Dem

Education: Ph.D., Penn State

Qualifications: Harris Township Board of Supervisors; Chair, COG Parks Capital Committee; Chair, COG Steering Committee for Parks and Recreation Regional Comprehensive Plan; Past Chair Harris Township Shade Tree Commission; and Past Chair Harris Township Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My top priority is to work with our Planning Commission and township staff to insure that development in the township is done in a responsible manner that preserves the unique character of the township. Continue to work with other municipalities in the Centre Region to develop a comprehensive plan to guide recreation and open space planning in to the future. Cooperate with staff and my fellow supervisors to be good stewards of our residents tax dollars, while keeping the township on a fiscally sound footing.

Patton Township Board of Supervisors

Candidates (choose 2):

Elliot Abrams

Party: Dem

Campaign Website: weatherscaape.org

Date of Birth: May 31, 1947

Education: BS, MS in Meteorology, PSU Distinguished graduate, USAF Officer Training School

Qualifications: Have served for 36 years, but still leaning. Elected officials are working for the people, not the other way around

Facebook: Elliot Abrams fan page

Twitter: accuElliot

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: 1. Maintain and improve upon the practice of good service for the people of Patton Township. It is important to listen to concerns and respond as well as possible. 2. Make sure that when we spend taxpayer dollars, a guiding principle is that we are investing for the future. We provide services realizing our population includes individuals with varying needs, wants, abilities, appearance, passions, concerns, lifestyles and beliefs. 3, Work to maintain and enhance quality of life. Provide and improve the services people expect from their municipality and stay within the budget.

Aaron M. Miller

Party: Dem

Date of Birth: June 11, 1983

Education: Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies, August 2019

Qualifications: Resident of Patton Township and a desire to serve my community

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Aaron-Miller-for-Patton-Township-Board-of-Supervisors-1949407928700396

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: 1. Affordable housing - The cost of living continues to rise, as do real estate prices. The effect this has on the rental market, and on lower to middle income families, cannot be overstated. It’s become a big challenge for young professionals and families to get established in this and surrounding townships. Finding affordable housing solutions while working with the township, CRCOG, developers and nonprofit organizations (SCCLT for example) is one of my major goals as a supervisor. 2. Parks and play spaces - One of the greatest assets our region has is its parks and open spaces. Organizations like Clearwater Conservancy and our CR Parks and Rec have done amazing work at making recreation spaces for families, both natural and planned. Something I would like to see is a continued push to create bike trails and walking paths connecting new developments to the rest of the community. 3. Promoting and growing local business - In Patton Township the growth of commercial space along North Atherton Street continues, and yet most of these spaces are filled by national chains. I would like to see some of the new commercial spaces, such as those in the proposed Patton Crossing plan, be taken up by local entrepreneurs. Local restaurants are more likely to be invested in the community and driven to appeal to customers outside of the student population.

Rush Township Supervisor

Candidates (choose 1):

Samuel Estright

Party: D

Candidate did not respond.

Jason Vaux

Party: R

Candidate did not respond to question.

Spring Township Board of Supervisors

Candidates (choose 1):

Frank Royer

Party: Dem

Candidate did not respond.

State College Borough Council

Candidates (choose 4):

Jesse Barlow

Party: Dem

Campaign Website: www.barlowforcouncil.com

Date of Birth: July 8, 1955

Education: B.A., Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Kansas, 1977; M.S. Statistics, Northwestern University, 1980; Ph.D. Computer Science, Northwestern University, 1981.

Qualifications: Board Member, State College Land Trust, 2014-2016; Member, Borough Council, since 2016; Member, Information Technology Committee, National League of Cities,since 2017.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/barlow4boroughcouncil

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My first goal is to work toward a sustainable State College Borough and Centre Region. On June 3, Borough Council unanimously passed a resolution I authored to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and to move toward 100% renewable energy by 2050. The Borough has already set short term goals up to 2022, we need to set intermediate goals for years in between 2022 and 2050. During the zoning rewrite, I will continue to push for greener building standards and I will continue to argue for sustainable growth in the Centre Region. We also need to work with the Centre Region Council of Governments to plan for a future with a changing climate. My second goal is to remain engaged in Council’s important work in sustaining strong neighborhoods, in sustaining a budget that works for us, and keeping a downtown that we all enjoy. These issues play an important part in keeping State College’s high quality of life. My last but not least goal is to embrace State College’s diversity and pursue policies that are welcoming to all residents. That includes student residents, retirees, long-term residents and young professionals. That means being welcoming to LGBTQA residents, residents of color, and immigrants. During my first term, with my enthusiastic support, Council passed an ordinance banning gay conversion therapy in the Borough and established an LGBTQ Advisory Board. State College’s diversity will continue to be an important part of its future.

Deanna Behring

Party: Dem

Campaign Website: https://www.behringfortheborough.com/

Date of Birth: Sept. 8, 1963

Education: B.A. Economics, French and Public Policy (Albion College, MI); M.A. International Economic Development (Ohio University); PhD Communications (Penn State University)

Qualifications: Proven executive leadership in academia and government, including in the White House (Clinton administration) and Central Intelligence Agency; Community leader and Board member (Central Pennsylvania Community Action; Awesome Foundation; Friends of Fuse; various parent and booster organizations);

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BehringfortheBorough/

Twitter: @Behring4Borough

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My priorities are the three Es: Environment, Economy and Equity. Environment — we must be more aggressive to adapt to a changing climate by promoting low-carbon living with walking/biking trails, support for public and creative transportation options, and borough investments. Economy — we need to actively support innovative people and ideas to diversify our economic base, keep young people in the borough and strengthen our tax base. Equity — we need to move quickly to address the lack of affordable housing and ensure a safe place for all members of our community. All of this must be underpinned by fiscal responsibility, with better transparency and communication with our partners in the business and nonprofit sectors, our university neighbor, our surrounding communities and other government entities. With training in economics, public policy and communications, and experience building multicultural partnerships for program development, I am ready to deliver on this vision!

Tom Dougherty III

Party: Rep

Campaign Website: tomd4bc.com

Date of Birth: Oct. 8, 1998

Education: Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School Class of 2017 - University of Pittsburgh Russian Summer Language Institute - Penn State College of Liberal Arts 2021

Qualifications: Student Representative on the State College Borough Council. 2018 through 2019 - University Park Undergraduate Association At-Large Representative and Intrafraternal Council Representative 2018 through present - Vice-President of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity Nittany Chapter 2018 through present

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tomd4bc

Twitter: twitter.com/tomd4bc

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: Increase equitable growth of State College in a safe way - The Borough of State College is reflecting a more diverse community and we must make sure that we are growing our community sustainably. Planning welcoming and embracing events for our different communities, while focusing on the safety of those groups is key to growing a safe and truly great State College. Before the end of 2020 I want to have a State College Borough Pride Festival to demonstrate our welcoming community to all people and reassure that their safety is our priority. Coordinating other events with the Community Engagement Office in the borough will make our State College a Safe Space. More access to Affordable Housing for an Affordable Community - Allowing all members of our community to apply for affordable housing. With the increase of apartments downtown, there should also be an increase of units allocated for low-income residents. I want to make sure all members of our community can find State College a comfortable place to live in. This includes attracting diverse businesses to stimulate our local economy with the continuation of co-operative spaces. An increase of sustainable initiatives throughout State College and the implementation of a renewable energy goal by the end of 2020. With the urgency of climate change, the State College Borough should be making strives to be a leader in sustainability and the Green movement. We can be the role model throughout Pennsylvania.

Janet Engeman

Party: D/R

Education: B.A Economics

Qualifications: Incumbent State College Borough Council Member, Experience in Management, Design, Organization, and Facilitation. Environmental Activist.

Facebook: Janet Engeman for State College Borough Council

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My top three priorities are: Livability: We must address affordable housing, environmental issues such as clean air and water, local job development and promotion of diversity. Transparency: We must continue to support and encourage community involvement in local decision-making. Sustainability: We must do our part to combat climate change by supporting green solutions for energy and life style activities.

Lynn B. Herman

Party: Rep

Date of Birth: Oct. 30, 1956

Education: B.A. Political Science, B.A. History, Masters of Public Administration

Qualifications: I was elected PA State Representative for 24 years for this area including State College Borough, serving on the House Education Committee and Sub-committee on Higher Education so the concerns of our local schools and Penn State could be heard, Chairman of the House Local Government Committee where all the legislation dealing with boroughs, townships, and Councils of Governments came through my committee for consideration, member of the Local Government Commission, Chairman of College Township Council, Chairman of State College Borough Authorities Board and Tree Commission.

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: My top priority is the preservation of State College Borough’s neighborhoods, community parks, open spaces and beautiful tree lined streets. Neighborhood preservation for Borough residents is imperative as we have seen single family homes being sold and turned into apartment dwellings to accommodate the ever increasing demand for more housing for Penn State students. Many students, and other college age people with disrespectful behaviors, come to State College for sporting events, the Arts Festival, 4th Fest, and other occasions and encroach on the quality of life for long-time State College residents. I would put pressure on Penn State officials to provide more dormitory space on campus for future college applicants. More University Park dormitories would curb the need for more housing in State College neighborhoods. I favor zero based budgeting as a method of holding the line on property taxes. I will work for necessary improvements of our local streets with minimal disruption to residents and neighborhoods. Street contractors need to do a better job than past years in repaving Atherton Street so as to minimize traffic disruptions, uneven street lanes, and pot holes.

Peter Marshall

Party: D/R

Date of Birth: May 14, 1937

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business at Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Wharton Graduate School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Qualifications: Full time municipal manager for 40 years. Managed State College for 17 years. Managed university communities for 30 years. Municipal consultant in Pennsylvania with over 45 contracts. I am very knowledgeable about Pennsylvania municipal law, municipal services, municipal finance. I am also very familiar with the kinds of problems that State College and other University communities face. If elected, I will not require time to become familiar with State College operations or with the role of a State College Council member.

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: Family Friendly Neighborhoods: The Borough should work to improve family friendly neighborhoods. It is important for families to continue to find the Borough as a great place to live. Families add to the fabric of our community and they typically pay the Earned Income Tax (EIT), the Borough’s most important revenue source. Losing families would affect the ability of the Borough to continue to provide quality services. I will seek creative ways to help neighborhoods. A Welcoming Community: It is critically important for State College to be a welcoming and safe place for everyone who lives here and works and studys here, regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or physical or mental abilities. The Borough Council and staff should be the leaders in these efforts. Environmental Sustainability Environmental sustainability should also be a priority for State College. This must continue as aggressively as possible.

Katherine Watt

Party: O

Campaign Website: bailiwicknews.com/2019-borough-council-campaign/

Date of Birth: Dec. 6, 1973

Education: B.A. Philosophy, Penn State University, 1996. Paralegal Certificate, Raritan Valley Community College, 2003.

Qualifications: Experienced muckraking journalist and political agitator.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bailiwick-News-561442980728785/

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: Black box accounting, cost-shifting (private profit at public expense), and municipal subordination are three primary tools used by corporations, state and federal legislators and courts, to restrict the self-governing liberty of local citizens. For example, see the “Solicitor Advice” note on p. 16 of the 2017 Borough “Procedures Manual for Council Members,” threatening noncompliant elected representatives with court-imposed financial ruin if they freely exercise their voting rights on public issues by declining to follow solicitor advice. To expand local citizens’ range of self-governing options, and thereby increase economic and ecological resilience, I plan to 1) present information during public meetings, about how and why anti-democratic tools and procedures are used; 2) support measures to increase fiscal transparency and individual legislator accountability for fiscal votes, and to reduce the public budget impacts of private corporations’ cost-externalization programs; and 3) advocate for municipal challenges to state and federal preemption and corporate-personhood doctrines.

Walker Township Supervisor

Candidates (choose 1):

Jim Heckman

Party: R

Date of Birth: Jan. 18, 1949

Education: Bellefonte Area High School graduate

Qualifications: Twelve years Auditor; 18 years supervisor; 39 years forest fire warden; 52 years volunteer firefighter for Walker Township

Q: If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

A: I will always do my best for the residents of Walker Township. I will communicate with the residents and ensure that their needs are met. I will also ensure that the roads are improved and kept to the standards of Walker Township. I will work with developers of the township and see that regulations are followed.

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