Blanda Nace joins crowded race for York County commissioner

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Blanda Nace, former director of strategic development at the York County Economic Alliance, announced his candidacy for the York County Board of Commissioners on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Blanda Nace, the former director of strategic development at the York County Economic Alliance, is running for the York County board of commissioners.

Nace, a former Springettsbury Township supervisor, resigned from the YCEA to start his campaign.

There isn't a standard, one-size-fits-all solution for each of the county's 72 municipalities, which include a mixture of rural, suburban and urban land, Nace said in his announcement.

"We need to recognize and respect that,” he stated.

Nace  serves on the economic development and business recruitment committees at Downtown Inc in York City and on  the Crispus Attucks Property Committee. From 2007 until his resignation from the YCEA, he was the executive director of the York County Redevelopment Authority.

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One of his primary concerns is to preserve county farmland without sacrificing the economic benefits of land development.

He said redeveloping blighted and abandoned properties across the county addresses both needs.

"We can’t just build skyscrapers out in cornfields and attach property taxes to it," Nace said. "We have to focus on the built environment first."

Nace moved to York City in 2018, but before that he lived in Springettsbury Township and served on the board of supervisors.

He said he didn't realize how much he would miss the job when he moved out of the township, especially the opportunity to talk to residents and alleviate their concerns about any  of the board's actions or decisions.

"It’s always a good feeling when they walk away nodding their head instead of shaking their head," Nace said.

Nace said he has a background  in soil science, and he's been following the York County Planning Commission's proposed countywide stormwater authority.

The purpose of the authority would be to address pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and meet the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan.

Nace said there are still a lot of unknowns about how to best meet the requirements, in part because the requirements have changed so much over the years, and that it's important to work closely with the DEP and EPA to make sure the county is moving in the right direction.

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As for the York County 911 center, which has dealt with a yearslong struggle to attract and retain staff, Nace said he's confident in the current board of commissioners to address it.

"They still have another 10 months in office," he said. "They are working very hard for a solution, and I have full faith that they are not ignoring the issue."

Nace is the seventh candidate to announce a bid for county commissioner, including incumbents Doug Hoke and Chris Reilly. President Commissioner Susan Byrnes is not seeking re-election.

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