Two candidates are seeking two supervisor positions in Fairview Township in the Nov. 5 general election.
Former police chief Scott Hockenberry, a Republican, is the only candidate for a six-year seat on the board.
He and Robert Stanley Jr. both have their names on the ballot for a two-year seat.
Stanley is running to serve the final two years of a position to which he was appointed.
Hockenberry won a three-way Republican primary in the spring, defeating incumbent William Brown and challenger David Brinton.
Scott Hockenberry (R/D)
Age/address: 40, of 330 Braeburn Drive, Etters
Family: Divorced with a 9-year-old son
Education: BS in criminal justice from Penn State
Community organizations with which you are active:
Robert P. Stanley Jr. (R)
Age and address: 62, of Jennifer Drive
Occupation: Semi-retired Architect
Education: Temple University, BS in Architectural Design Technology
Community organizations with which you are active: York County Local Government Advisory Committee and Capital Region Council of Governments UCC Appeals Board
Questions and answers:
1. If you could make one change to improve the quality of life for residents in Fairview Township, what change would you make? Explain your choice.
Hockenberry: I think that Fairview Township provides its residents with quality services for their tax dollars. I am not sure that there are any quality of life issues that need tremendous improvement. I believe that the best thing for government at all levels can do for their constituents is to keep from passing laws that have a global impact for an isolated incident.
Stanley: Control spending to reduce the need for future tax increases. We have many residents that are on fixed incomes and every increase reduces their available income as well as other residents for living expenses.
2. What will your other priorities be if elected as a township supervisor? Explain why those are your priorities.
Hockenberry: My main priority is to make sure that the public is aware of the decisions that are made by the board and the thought that goes into the decisions. I have heard of transparency in government, but I have not seen it. I will make sure that the tax dollars spent are necessary to provide the services expected by our residents. I am very approachable and will take time to listen to the concerns, thoughts and needs of the residents.
Stanley: -- Initiate a study of the feasibility of creating a regional police department or merging police departments with our neighboring municipalities in an effort to contain future costs.
-- Look at the feasibility of providing a traffic light at Lewisberry Road and Poplar Road/Springer Lane and at Fishing Creek Road and Locust Road/Northbound Ramp I-83. Both of these intersections are dangerous, especially at rush hour. The improvements would be paid for through proposed traffic impact fees.
-- Eliminate the per capita tax. It is expensive to prepare and send out bills for a $5 tax. Last year there were 1231 delinquent accounts, which have been submitted for collection. Many residents pay their real estate taxes, but for some reason they do not pay the per capita tax.
-- Develop a long range plan to expand the township park system to provide children's playgrounds in existing developments. Most of the Township's existing parks are for organized sports. Roof Park, the Township's largest, does have activities for all age groups as well as organized sports.
3. Fairview Township has a tax rate of 2.35 mills. How would you rate the township's job of controlling costs and its tax rate? Why?
Hockenberry: Many decisions that have been made in the past have had lasting negative impact on the township's finances. Unfunded mandates from the state and federal government continue to cause huge expense to the township. I do believe that the current board of supervisors tries to be vigilant in its spending, but I don't believe that some of the information that they are basing their decisions on are legitimate. It is important for the board of supervisors to investigate all information it receives, so it can make informed decisions.
Stanley: Because of the economy, municipalities have experienced flat revenues in the past 3-4 years and Fairview Township is no different. The cost of employee medical and pension plans, fuel, road materials, etc. have increased dramatically in the last few years. The township sources of revenue are limited to property tax, earned income tax (0.5 percent of the 1.45 percent tax), $5 per capita tax, real estate transfer tax (50 percent of tax), and the $52 local services tax. The 2013 budget did not include a tax increase. The township has been controlling costs by reducing personnel, taking advantage of purchasing items on state contracts, obtaining grant money and purchasing in bulk. The 2014 budget is being developed and I will not support a tax increase for the coming year.
4. Fairview Township relies on its own police department for police protection. How do you feel about the protection provided by the department? Is the township getting its money's worth? Should any changes be explored? Why or why not?
Hockenberry: I believe that the Fairview Township Police Department is effective, and does a great job handling the calls for service it receives. I have first-hand knowledge of this department, because I was a member of the department for 18 years, and left as the chief of police. It is difficult to say if the residents are getting their money's worth, because most residents will never need the department's services. The over $2 million budget takes nearly 50 percent of the entire township budget, so innovative thinking is needed to control the costs of the department. The board of supervisors need to weigh the needs of the residents with the cost of providing any service. If the cost outweighs the need then it is the board's obligation to be aware of and educated on other solutions.
Stanley: The police department costs 2.7 million dollars per year to operate and it is approximately 50 percent of the township's general fund. The supervisors made some personnel changes in November of last year which have improved the department's morale and the township is in the process of interviewing for a new police chief. The department provides adequate police protection, but there are always things that can be improved. I would like to see more of a presence of the police in our residential neighborhoods.
5. Why did you decide to run for township supervisor? Why should people support your candidacy for township supervisor?
Hockenberry: I have been a resident of the township for 37 of my 40 years, and was a member of the police department for 18 years. I know many of the residents because of living and working here, and understand their issues. I know the inner workings of this municipality, and have worked with most of the employees. Through these relationships I know I can help the residents with issues and concerns regarding the township. I always keep the residents' best interest in mind, and will be truthful in my responses. I have seen and received circular answers from politicians and didn't like it when it happened to me.
Stanley: Over the last 25 years I have served on the planning commission for 10 years, sewer authority chairman for 15 years and the zoning hearing board for a short period before I was appointed supervisor in January 2012. I worked diligently on the sewer authority with township staff to resolve the financial problems with the southern sewer system that were created by the politics of the late 80's and early 90's and which created a burden for sewer rate payers even to the present day. The township is now required by DEP though our Act 537 sewage facilities plan to connect approximately 400 homes north of and along Lewisberry Road between I-83 and the township building. With my experience I can help make this project as affordable as possible to the residents connecting to the system and the current rate payers. People should support my candidacy based on my previous experience and my ability to solve problems.