Politics & Government

Voters Guide | Patton Township supervisor


Term: Six years

Salary: $3,250

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

(Vote for not more than two.)


D. Joshua Troxell, State College

Date of birth: Jan. 26, 1976

Education: Master’s in homeland security-public health preparedness (current); B.S. human resources, Geneva College, 2012; U.S. Navy: Nuclear Power & Propulsion School (submarines) — machinist’s mate/engineering laboratory technician, 1998-2004.

Occupation: Penn State Environmental Health and Safety assistant

Qualifications: Township supervisor, six years; State Association of Township Supervisors: Populations over 10,000 Committee, (three years, current chairman).

Answer to question: Zoning is the hardest task that supervisors face. We must envision both the best- and worst-case scenarios that a proposed new zoning might allow. We also zone according to the best use of available resources, utilizing tools such as intermunicipal “swap” agreements, such as Patton has with College Township. We must avoid “spot zoning” for a specific tract of land. All this is difficult within a municipality let alone between municipalities. We must constantly update zoning regulations, working to make them consistent and effective, particularly along municipal borders. I have served on the Halfmoon-Patton steering committee focused on just that.


Elliot Abrams, Port Matilda

Date of birth: May 31, 1947

Education: 1969, Penn State, B.S.; 1971, Penn State M.S.

Occupation: Meteorologist, senior vice president AccuWeather Inc., 45 years.

Qualifications: Township supervisor, 30 years; distinguished graduate, U.S. Air Force Officer Training School. Served on the Centre Region Emergency Management Council 2013.

Answer to question: Each township and borough is responsible of establishing and managing its zoning system. While there are many similarities in development, there are key differences between municipalities. Downtown State College and the village of Boalsburg look different. Some townships have extensive farming; others so not. Zoning regulations have been developed to address the concerns of citizens over the years, and you are invited to help with the process.


George Downsbrough Jr., Bellefonte

Date of birth: March 30, 1951

Education: 1973, Yale University, B.A.

Occupation: Retired. 32 years as an engineer and program manager at Raytheon (formerly HRB)

Qualifications: 30-year resident of Patton Township; corporate experience in project planning, design, budgeting, and estimating financial returns; board member of Centre County United Way since 2006 and Pennsylvania Centre Stage since 2008

Answer to question: No, we do not need new zoning regulations at this time. Patton was a leader in the region implementing comprehensive zoning in the 1970s. We have zoning that reflects the suburban, commercial and rural land uses in the township. Zoning is supporting growth along North Atherton Street. We have a district that accounts for potential development around the airport, and zoning that reflects the current agricultural use of the land over the limestone in the northern portion of the township. What we need is consistent and thoughtful administration of the regulations as landowners apply for changes and nonconforming uses.