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Six candidates are running for three seats on the Hanover Borough Council in the 2015 Primary election on Tuesday, May 19. Wards 2, 3 and 5 each have two candidates for one seat.

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

Ward 2

John H. Gerken (R)

No response

R. Daniel Noble (R)

Age/Family: married, 2 children, 2 step children

Occupation: Plant Manager, Black & Decker, Easton MD (1200 employees), Corporate Director (retired) of Engineering & Quality Assurance

Education: PSU graduate with degree in engineering,

Community organizations with which you are active: Past President of Church Council, Lohr's United Methodist Church; President of North Point Unit Owner's Association; Past Member, Penn Township Planning Commission; Supporter of Wounded Warriors Project

Ward 3

Henry McLin (D)

Age/Family: Married to Jean, two adult children, John and Andrea

Occupation: Retired

Education: B.A. Temple University, M.B.A. Shippensburg University

Community organizations with which you are active: Former President, Hanover Little Theater; Vice-President, Hanover Area Council of Churches; Former President and current secretary of Consistory, Emmanuel UCC, Hanover; Elks Lodge 763, Hanover; and the Amvets Post 22, Hanover.

Jeanine Udora Pranses (D)

Age/Family: I am a 39-year-old, proud mother to Samuel, 11, and Anna, 7.

Occupation: I broker commercial electricity & natural gas for Shipley Energy - a local, 4th-generation family-owned company.

Education: After graduating from Hanover Senior High School I earned a BA in English Literature with a Minor in Spanish from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Community Organizations with which you are active: In addition to helping out with my daughter's Girl Scout troop and Habitat for Humanity, I am a member of the United Way of York County's Emerging Leaders Society.

Ward 5

James E. Baumgardner (R)

Age/Family: married, 4 children

Occupation: James E. Baumgardner, Architect

Education: Virginia Tech, Bachelor of Architecture degree

Community organizations with which you are active: Member, Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce; Member, Saint Vincent de Paul Church; Facilities Committee, Saint Vincent de Paul Church; Facilities Committee, Delone Catholic High School

Thomas J. Hufnagle III (D)

No response

Questions and answers

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

Ward 2

Gerken: No response.

Noble: Let's be clear. Whether it's property taxes, water, sewer, or garbage fees, they're all about money we pay the Borough to take care of us. The services they provide, police, firemen, and care for public spaces are supposed to keep us healthy and safe. The rate increases over the last four years don't cover the continued out-of-control spending, and I think we can all agree we're receiving less for our money.

Ward 3

McLin: The Borough has not done a very good job of keeping taxes low and maintaining adequate services. The Borough must include the public in the budget process including goal setting and prioritizing those goals. Meetings must be restructured to include all points of view and a full discussion of issues.

Pranses: As a member of Borough Council I will have no authority over property taxes – these are managed by our school board. As far as borough taxes go, the modest increases the last two years were the first in nine years – a commendable record. To keep the tax burden low it's important they only be used to fund essential township functions: to give police and fire protection, maintain public works, provide good clean water to drink, safely dispose of sewage and garbage and offer recreational outlets such as Liberty Day, summer playground activities and ball games for kids. It's important to keep citizens' tax burden low in Hanover as we have a very large population of retired individuals on fixed incomes who have difficulty absorbing tax increases.

Ward 5

Baumgardner: I think they're doing just okay. There is certainly room for improvement. Many of our streets are in disrepair, and their property management needs improvement. The Borough needs to focus on the Downtown redevelopment and support ongoing efforts to that end. Downtown revitalization and streetscapes would encourage other investors and increase our tax base.

Hufnagle: No response.

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

Ward 2

Gerken: No response.

Noble: I want to bring respect and professionalism back to the residents of the Borough. I want to treat people who take the time to come to a Council meeting with courtesy and respect, and thank them for their participation. The manner in which the Council has interacted with the people they represent is unacceptable. We have incredibly caring and talented residents that we need to engage. This includes property and business owners within the Borough, regardless of where they live. We're all in this together, and we need to work as a team, not as adversaries.

Ward 3

McLin: My top priority would be to improve public participation in Borough government. The citizens must be heard. The Council and business manager has to be more accessible. The Sunshine Laws must be followed and secrecy eliminated.

Pranses: I'd like to increase, improve, and modernize communication between the borough and its citizens. I would love to see increased community attendance and participation in Borough Council Meetings. Our citizens are our greatest asset and we need to encourage them off the sidelines and into active engagement with their government.

Ward 5

Baumgardner: I would like to study all of the separate revenue centers. If they're all profitable as we've been told, then why do we continue to raise taxes and fees? This study would include staffing, assets, capital projects, everything !! We must do a better job with other neighboring municipalities to share services and economize. The constant increase in spending needs to stop; projects move forward without any understanding of where the money comes from and if the project makes financial sense. We have a lot of misdirected resources.

Hufnagle: No response.

3. Why did you decide to run for borough council? Why should people support your candidacy?

Ward 2

Gerken: No response.

Noble: As the President of the North Point UOA, we've dealt with the Borough on several issues and have been completely disappointed by their lack of concern and action. I'd like to help implement a new culture. The Council has to show strong leadership to bring about this change from the top down. The bottom line is that we are a service organization and our customer is the taxpayer.

Ward 3

McLin: I am running for borough council to continue to improve the community. I believe I have the experience and opportunity to make Hanover a better place to live.

Pranses: I'm running for Borough Council because I perceive a deep incivility in how the business of governing takes place in our community – an incivility that encourages manufactured outrage but does nothing to solve problems. There is plenty of that in Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg, PA, for that matter – here in Hanover we can do better. Hanover is a wonderful place to grow up and a wonderful place to raise children. I believe we can face our challenges head-on together – with less complaining and more solutions. In the great words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." It's time we focus on ideas once again.

Ward 5

Baumgardner: I am frustrated by the lack of openness by some of the present council members, as well as a blatant disregard for public input and concerns. I feel there are many talented and interested people in our town willing to provide assistance, if such assistance was welcomed. If elected, I will work hard to change this culture.

Hufnagle: No response.

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