Dallastown Borough Council
Four candidates are running for three seats on the Dallastown Borough Council in the 2015 Primary election on Tuesday, May 19.
The York Dispatch asked them to answer three questions and provide basic bio information to help voters with their selection.
Their responses are:
Karen K. Hoyt-Stewart (R)Age/Family: 59/Married with 3 grown children and 4 grandsonsOccupation: Production SchedulerEducation: BA, The Ohio State UniversityCommunity Organizations with which you are active: Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church Quay Markel (D)Age/Family: I'm 71 and my wife's name is Linda and we have been married 49 years. Our son's name is Scott E. Markel and he lives in California.Occupation: Retired from Commonwealth of Pa. in 2003Education: Graduated from DAHS in 1962; Various courses from York College/Penn StateCommunity organizations with which you are active: Semi-active with Rescue Fire Co. #1 Inc.; member of York County Firefighters Association; I was on zoning board for 6 years, EMA coordinator for Dallastown Borough for 16 years, Councilman from 2008 to present Ron Smith (R)Age/Family: 52; Laura, wife, Emily, daughter, Collin, sonOccupation: President/Business Owner American Threat Response Gear LLCEducation: Graduated from York County Vo-Tech ( York County School of Technology) 1981 and have an additional 6 college credits; graduated from HACC in 1982 after successfully completing PA Act 235 Training; Certified Emergency Medical Technician, 1983-1994; Basic Fire Fighting I, 1985; Basic Vehicle Rescue, 1986.Community organizations with which you are active: York Area Regional Police Commission, Board Member 2011 to Present; York Area Regional Police Volunteers in Policing (V.I.P) 2011-Present; York County Crime Stoppers, Board Member 2011-2013 Kim E. Sterner (R)Age/Family: 59/married, Son, Daughter in law and 2 grandchildrenOccupation: Service ManagerEducation: High School GraduateCommunity organizations with which you are active: Sons of The American Legion Post 605, The Izaak Walton League, Hawks Gunning Club Questions and answers1. How would you rate the borough's performance at keeping taxes (especially property taxes) affordable for residents while providing adequate services? Why?Hoyt-Stewart: I would rate the borough 9 out of 10 on keeping taxes affordable. The borough has not raised property taxes in 10 years and our goal is to not raise property taxes. We have had to raise trash and sewer costs in order to continue to provide the borough services. The increase in the cost of trash was due to a new trash contract and the increase cost of the sewer was to pay for the borough's sewer system.Markel:The taxes have stayed the same since I have been on, but things could change. I hope not but, in this day-and-age, anything is possible.Smith: We've maintained the current 1.65 mill tax rate for the last 11 years. When York County reassessed its property values we (Council) reduced the millage rate to bring the tax rates back in line to that of the previous year. So with that being said I believe Dallastown borough taxpayers are getting a great value for their tax dollars. Just to clarify and to educate those residents that might not be aware, if your home is assessed at $100,000 you pay Dallastown borough $165 in taxes. This covers Police, Fire, Ambulance services, snow removal and street repairs just to name a few. I firmly believe in fiscal responsibility to you the taxpayer, always keeping in mind that it's not the borough's money but yours. Dallastown borough continues to live within its means by making only necessary purchases of equipment and carefully watching the spending of tax dollars on a daily basis and by retaining quality employees. We have some of the most competitive fees for services that rival those of larger municipalities. Taxes, again have remained the same with no cuts or reductions in services.Sterner:The Borough hasn't had a tax increase for several years including 2014/2015. Expenses have gone up for everyone including the Borough. Their 2014 and 2015 Budget is posted on the borough website for residents to view and compare the expenses and revenue for the borough. If you don't have access to the website simply request a copy from the borough. Residents can draw their own conclusions. 2. Other than holding down costs, what would be your top priorities if elected to borough council (or to another term to borough council)?Hoyt-Stewart:My top priorities are to promote a respectful, positive customer service attitude from the borough council and borough staff and to keep our budget in line, reducing costs where we can and keeping residents aware of any plans that will impact them (such as sidewalks, new street repairs, etc.). My top priorities are to promote a respectful, positive customer service attitude from the borough council and borough staff and to keep our budget in line, reducing costs where we can and keeping residents aware of any plans that will impact them (such as sidewalks, new street repairs, etc.).Markel: Updating our Lanes (they use to be called alleys) and our signs thru out the borough, and maintaining our streets.Smith: Continue to upgrade and modernize our town's aging infrastructure as time and funds permit. Continue the ongoing effort to reduce crime and blight within the borough. Continue to attract new businesses to Dallastown and keep the current ones here.Sterner:Property maintenance, Traffic safety, infrastructure.3. Why did you decide to run for borough council? Why should people support your candidacy? Hoyt-Stewart: I decided to run for borough council to change the "tone" of the borough council and employees to the residents of the borough whom we serve. Residents come before the council with concerns of snow removal, street maintenance, parking and much more. The council needs to listen more, talk less. I am a public servant and want to work to make Dallastown a safe, growing community.Markel:It's a job I enjoy doing, and I'm aiding in the updating and maintaining of the quality of life within the borough. And I would like more residents to attend borough meetings.Smith: I am running for re-election because I believe in community service and civic duty. Of my 52 years, I've volunteered my time and service in one capacity or another (fire fighting, Emergency Medical Services and as a Municipal Elected official) for at least 30 of those years. Since 2001 I've literally given my time to the residents of Dallastown because I have not taken the monthly stipend thus returning approximately $10,000.00 of taxpayers' money back to the people where it belongs. I'm committed to solving our town's issues and working toward a brighter future for our children. I'm committed to maintaining low taxes, low user fees and common sense spending with fiscally responsible budgets. I have a proven track record and believe firmly in a common sense approach to governing. Therefore I'm asking each of my neighbors for their vote and support.Sterner:I'd like to improve community involvement, the appearance of the borough and the quality of life for the borough residents.