Four candidates are competing for two positions on the Shrewsbury Township board of supervisors in this year's election.

And, unless there's a write-in surprise, both winners will be new to the board.

Earl Shuckman, vice chairman of the board, opted not to seek re-election. The other incumbent, Patrick Fero, was defeated in the primary election.

That leaves a field of candidates that includes Democrats Susan Fox and William Strine Jr., and Republicans James Morfe and Cynthia Taylor.

The York Dispatch asked the candidates a series of questions. Their responses follow.

 

Candidate bios:

Susan Lee Fox (D)

Age / Address: 56, of Bowser Rd., New Freedom
Family: Single
Occupation: Prof. Insurance Agent/ Farm Owner/Operator
Current community involvement: STEPCO chairperson-Sewage Sludge Issues, actively attending Township meetings, Community organizer


James D. Morfe (R)

Address: Diehl Court
Family: Married
Occupation: Retired from United Technologies


Bill Strine Jr. (D)

Age: 69, of Bowser Road
Family: Single, 1 daughter
Occupation: Retired from Insulation Engineers
Current Community Involvement: Active in STEPCO, attending most township meetings


Cynthia Taylor (R)

Age / Address: 43, of West Clearview Drive, Glen Rock
Family: Married, 2 children
Occupation: self employed
   
1.


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If the board of supervisors could make one change to improve the quality of life for township residents, what change would you recommend supervisors make? Explain your answer.

Fox: I think the quality of life in Shrewsbury Township is pretty good right now. I believe that our residents enjoy the rural/ semi-suburban atmosphere and some of the lowest Township taxes in the State. I would hope that in the future our Board of Supervisors can work together in a constructive positive way to tackle the issues of the Township without the negative tone as in the past. We all need to listen to all sides and keep the best interest of the Township and its residents at the forefront of all  that we do.

Morfe: To get the the Shetland Sewer Project Moving in the right direction, and keep the residents informed of every important step, and find ways to help defray costs to the homeowners.

Strine: Remove Fero and Montanareli from the board. Both of these men have agendas that do not consider Shrewsbury Township's best interest.

Taylor: Quality of life is in the eye of the beholder, our community had grown as a whole over the past few years but the area has maintained its open, rural feel. I would recommend that the supervisors continue to limit the number of houses being built in the agriculture zone, keep environmental regulations strong and the number of structures allowed on a 1 acre parcel manageable. In order to keep everyone informed to proposed changes to this or any other policy I would require more information to be posted on the township webpage and in the township newsletter before major changes are made.

2. The application of sewer sludge has been a major issue in Shrewsbury Townwhip. Officials are now reviewing whether any components of a 2008 ordinance on sluge application can survive a court challenge. How do you feel about the township's handling of this issue? What should be done next?

Fox: An "Answer to the Court" in the East Brunswick case is forthcoming and will continue to play out in the courts. Our Township did what it could to protect the "Health, Safety and Welfare" of its residents. State Government officials were contacted prior to the Township taking action to see if  sludge was covered under "ACRE" and the reply ,"NO". Federal EPA rules governing sludge  state that "a political subdivision of a State" (Local governments) have the right to impose stricter , more stringent regulations than  State or Federal ".  If nothing else many have learned about this practice and are opposed to it. We should continue to educate all and change the State and Federal laws,  join with other Townships to get this done and not allow this to fall by the wayside. I will pursue this issue as well as other "Hot" issues in this Township with the same vigor.

Morfe: I feel right now this is a problem that is happened state wide and the State Attorney General should make a ruling.

Strine: I feel taxpayers are getting their money's worth plus. The plus going to the township ? department, in that they do a lot of mechanical work on vehicles that would normally require outside garages and mechanics. This is a monetary savings for the township residents. With the economy at a stand still, we need to hold the line, keeping any extra costs at a bare minimum.

Taylor: I believe the township did what it had to do. The effects from sludge are long term. I know that the information that is out there varies and any real damage may not be known for years. While I don't know much about sludge there are people who have become knowledgeable on the subject and I would look to them to take the lead. I do think that this issue is real and the township needs to protect its citizens. This may mean the township joining with other communities to have laws governing land application changed.

3. Homeowners in the Seitzland area face the possibility of thousands of dollars in costs related to a sewer expansion project. Faced with a similar situation in the future, how would you proceed as a township supervisor? Again, how do you feel about the township's handling of this situation?

Fox:
I would put someone in charge of the program that knew what needs to be done and how to get it done quickly with the least amount of expense. Most of all I would communicate with the residents better, demand monthly reports to assure that things were moving in the proper direction
The Seitzland problem started in the 80's and because of the cost, I understand that no one wanted to "touch" it. When the State mandated the work be done the township proceeded. In 2008 a Supervisor was appointed to head up the task which ended up causing a lot of confusion and alienation between residents and the Supervisors. In 2009 the Supervisors saw what was happening and changes were made. Now things are moving along, grants have been applied for, work is being done so the true cost is seen and the project will be ready when the money is available. I believe that the Township could have handled this project better in the beginning than it did and I would do everything in my power to not let us make the same mistakes again on another project. 

Morfe: To get the the Shetland Sewer Project Moving in the right direction, and keep the residents informed of every important step, and find ways to help defray costs to the homeowners.

Strine: At this point in time two main issues come to mind -- Fero and Montanareli.

Taylor: We need to find out ways to make them more affordable to the residents mandated to connect to them. Right now the village of Seitzland is facing a large sewer bill connection fee. Without any grant money or other outside funding, they are facing a bill in excess of $40,000 plus. It's time we put something in place to protect these and other homeowners facing the same type of situations in the future. I believe the township made a very big mistake when they put a supervisor who knew nothing about sewers, funding or how townships work in charge of the project. After many complaints from residents of Seitzland, the board replaced that person and finally the project is moving on and funding is being applied for.

4. Shrewsbury Township relies on state police for police protection. Are you satisfied with the level of police service in the township? Why or why not? Should the township explore joining a regional police force for more local protection? Again, why or why not?

Fox: I think at this point the State Police do a good job in our Township. They respond mostly in our commercial areas and Rt. 83 now. To join with another police force  will cost our taxpayers between $500-$600,000 a year or more and that decision should be made by all the residents, not by a few. At some point our Township may need to provide Police but I believe we should let the people decide that, they will know when its time.

Morfe: Morfe: Yes the State Police do a good job. At some time it may be necessary for the township to stop relying on the State Police coverage; I do not think this is the time. Right now there is a House Bill 1500 that would require every municipality that currently does not provide local police service, to pay an annual per capita fee of $52 for the first year, $104 for the second year, and $156 for the third and subsequent years that relies solely on the State Police.
I would ask you to contact your PA. Representatives and ask them to vote against this bill.

Strine: Yes, I am satisfied. The township at this time should not look for Regional Police Force protection. The last thing the residents need is more money to pay out of pocket. Now is not the time.

Taylor: The state provides police coverage that is adequate for the crime here in the township. According to the statistics, while there is some increase in the numbers, it does not seem to be anywhere close to pointing the township to needing its own police force. The township had in the past explored joining a regional police force, but taking on a responsibility that is so costly (over $500,000 per year) must be decided by all residents, not just a Board of Supervisors. I would continue to monitor the need and listen to township citizens concerns.

5. Why did you decide to run for election this year and why should voters support you in your quest for a seat on the board of supervisors? What unique qualifications do you offer voters?

Fox: I have decided to run for Township Supervisor because for the last 2 years I have attended every monthly Supervisor meeting (unlike some of my opponents) as well as other Townships and Planning Commissions meetings. I realize there are a lot of issues facing this town and I am aware of what is going on in Shrewsbury and the surrounding neighborhoods. I will bring a fresh new outlook to the board and I am not afraid to tackle big challenges like I have with the  Sludge issue and I will not tell our residents that there is "nothing we can do" like some have. I will approach ALL issues the same way I did on the sludge, with research, forethought and common sense to protect all of our residents. This is my true motivation to run.
I guess I am unique in my "staying power"-to stay with an issue until it is resolved and never give up.

Morfe: I feel I can be an asset to the board, I am retired I can spend the much need time on township business. When I was working, I manage supervised 20 to 30 people who worked in repair and service. We had a large customer base, throughout PA.,which I had to deal with on a day-to-day basis. I was also involved in our yearly budget for operations.

Strine: Because I feel I can be of help to and for the residents of Shrewsbury Township and because I am trustworthy and honest. I offer 50 years of management experience in life and business. I also have the time and effort that will be needed to be a supervisor. Also, I've been a Democrat for over 30 years.

Taylor: I have been attending the Shrewsbury Township Board of Supervisor's Meetings for the past 5 years. I feel I can contribute to the Township with my business experience, community service and my self-motivation to achieve the necessary goals for a successful future for the Township.