Franklin Township Supervisor

York Dispatch

Four candidates are running for two seats for Franklin Township supervisor 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:

Biographical information

Kevin Patrick Cummings (R)

Age/Family: 48 / Married to Lorraine ( 25 Years ) Three sons, Ryan 20, David 17, & Daniel 13. My family and I moved to Dillsburg July of 2006.

Occupation: Pipe Fitter

Education: Some college (College of Staten Island, CUNY)

Community organizations with which you are active: Celebration Community Church (Dillsburg), National Rifle Association, Dillsburg Fish & Game Association, former Upward Bound Basketball coach and former Little League coach.

Donald J. Lerew Sr. (R)

No response

Michael Ryan (R)

No response

John L. Shambaugh (R)

Age/Family: 67

Occupation: Professional Engineer

Education: B.S. from Penn State

Community organizations with which you are active: Board Member and Adjutant of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Dillsburg, PA; Judge Advocate for Marine Corps League, Leatherneck Square Detachment 1386, Dillsburg, PA

Questions and answers

1. How would you rate the township's performance at keeping taxes (especially property taxes) affordable for residents while providing adequate services? Why?

Cummings: I feel that the taxes are reasonable in regard to services provided, the credit however, goes to the Road Crew who plow the snow, mow the fields etc. They do an amazing job and are the backbone of the Township.

My concern is the added costs to the citizens who are forced to pay for Variances, many times unnecessarily. Also, Solicitor and Engineering fees need to be monitored closely to make sure that the taxpayers' money is spent responsibly.

Lerew: No response.

Ryan: No response.

Shambaugh: The Board of Supervisors has done an excellent job of minimizing any tax increases for the citizens of the township. The result is one of the lowest tax rates in the county.

2. Other than holding down costs, what would be your top priorities if elected supervisor (or to another term as supervisor)?

Cummings: My top priority is to make sure that the citizens of Franklin Township are treated respectfully and that their individual property rights are taken into consideration first and foremost. I know that some of those running believe it is their job to represent the Township as a whole. I feel that the Township is made up of individual citizens with unalienable rights specified in the Constitution.

Their land is part of their accumulated wealth and should be treated with the utmost respect. All too often, governments act as if they are the Sheriff of Nottingham patrolling the King's forest. Those who govern must realize that not all land is public. Granted, there should be some guidelines, but government must filter their decisions, keeping the rights of the individual property owner in the forefront.

I state this because, I've witnessed at meetings, citizens not viewed as individuals, but as someone who lives in a shaded area of a zoning map. It's not the government's property, it's the citizens. It's not the role of government to rule over its citizenry. Broad sweeping zoning ordinances discount individual liberty, this needs to be addressed. This is without a doubt my highest priority.

Lerew: No response.

Ryan: No response.

Shambaugh: To continue with the proper fiscal management of the Township.

3. Why did you decide to run for township supervisor? Why should people support your candidacy?

Cummings: I decided to run for Township Supervisor because I felt that the citizens of Franklin Township deserved someone to fight on their behalf.

In 1999, I helped stop an adult male halfway house for substance abuse affiliated with the Department of Corrections from being sited in a residential neighborhood. Debating the directors of the program on television, stressing that the site was surrounded by schools and senior citizen centers.

I had the honor of representing 150,000 people while serving on Community Board #1 and as a civilian member of an NYPD Community Council (120 pct) on Staten Island from 2000-2006. Dealt with a variety of issues such as, zoning, funding and Public Safety.

Along with other Steamfitter's, I volunteered for two weeks at the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001, using cutting torches at the front of the bucket lines.

During the Public Hearings ordered by the Federal Judge last November in Carroll Township, I publicly spoke out against the proposal from an out of state developer in defense of the residents of Northern York School District of which Franklin Township is a part. (I'm curious why none of my opponents were there.)

Lerew: No response.

Ryan: No response.

Shambaugh: To continue working for the greater good of the municipality.

Because of my experience with township government.