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Newberry Township Supervisor
Four candidates are running for two seats for Newberry 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:
Robert Conley (R)
Brandt W. Cook (R)
Age/Family: 54, Married to a wonderful woman and we have one Daughter 27 years old
Occupation: Manufacturing Manager at Clinton Industries Inc. in York, PA
Education: HS Graduate and some college classes
Community organizations with which you are active: I am a current Newberry Township Supervisor.
Carl E. Hughes (R)
Age/Family: 61 yrs. old, married 41 yrs.
Occupation: Field Superintendent
Education: Red Land High School
Community organizations with which you are active:
Tony Miller (R)
Age/Family: 58/Wife Mary with two children.
Occupation: Director, Bureau of Correctional Industries, Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections
Education: High School/Vocational Technical
Community organizations with which you are active: West Shore Sportsman's Association, National Rifle Association, Knights of Columbus, Holy Infant Parish, Valley Green Residents Organization, Newberry Township Municipal Authority Board Member.
Dwayne Smith (R)
Occupation: Disabled due to work injuries
Education: Red Land 1990: In June 2014 I was a student in the Minor Judiciary Education Program. I plan to take all political science classes HACC has.
Community organizations with which you are active: In 2013 I was duly elected to the office of Minority Inspector, Newberry Township District 1 (voting polling place Newberry Firehouse); Volunteer work: I had Scott Perry get a state citation to a WW2 Vet for his service in the war. RIP Cecil he lived beside me for many years. Worked a poll for Scott Wagner's write-in campaign. Gave blankets to the homeless.
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?
Conley: No response.
Cook: We have worked and continue to work hard at keeping property taxes low. In fact during the last 5 years I was in office this was a priority.
With the economy the way it has been, residents can't afford to pay any more taxes that is currently imposed on them. We have kept our service levels adequate by finding better and less expensive ways to do business in the township.
Hughes: Excellent. I have been on the Board since 2004. In eleven years we have raised Property Taxes one time, which was in 2007. The amount generated from the tax increase could only be used for road paving projects. We have maintained our level of services by cutting out unnecessary spending. We currently have a sizable surplus in our budget. We expect that amount to increase by the end of 2015.
Miller: I would give the Township a mixed grade on this issue. I think the Township has engaged in property purchases and fee eliminations that seem to benefit a select few in our Township. If we eliminate these sorts of unnecessary expenditures and fee adjustments, we may be able to better fund and enhance more important services like public safety, snow plowing, and infrastructure improvements. Overall, however, the Township's taxes haven't been completely unreasonable.
The problem is my opponents who have previously or currently served as Supervisors have merely "kicked the can down the road" a few years by deferring difficult fiscal decisions to the future. There have been a number of layoffs, police vacancies, and lingering expenditures that they have not addressed. My opponents have also failed to progressively address the requirements of MS4 and storm water management. When I serve as Supervisor, I'll work to tackle these issues head on.
A major purpose behind my campaign is to make sure that decisions involving taxpayer money are made from an impartial standpoint—never to benefit myself, other Supervisors, our friends or families at the expense of other residents. I understand that public servants may have their own business interests, but they should not let those interests cloud their judgment.
Smith: The tax rate is all right. The services are not adequate for the residents. It feels like they are controlling you not serving you. They waste tax money on attorney's to hide their misdeeds. Years ago they spent $100,000 on land not needed, after they lied and fired the road workers. Now they put an extra $70,000 in the police budget unchecked for new vehicle. That gives a lot of room for abuse of taxpayer's equipment. They use tax money for attorneys to fight against the people's liberty and rights. When it should be used to fight to preserve our liberties and rights of the people. They lay off the road workers to save money, then they buy land and never called them back. We need to cut any waste and cost to the taxpayers. I will welcome input from the people to do it. You can be sure with SMITH to be in service to the people, not myself.
2. Other than holding down costs, what would be your top priorities if elected supervisor (or to another term as supervisor)?
Conley: No response.
Cook: In addition to a balanced budget, I would continue to do my best to keep the public safe, give them the attention they need and keep Newberry Township "A Great Place To Live."
Hughes: I will continue, if re-elected, to encourage more commercial businesses to open in Newberry Township which would help keep taxes low and provide our residents with more choices of goods and services. With I-83 running through the township with three exits, our future for new businesses looks good. I would like to continue working to establish a permanent location for our senior citizen center on the new property purchased two years ago, next to the township building.
Miller: I will always look for a way to reduce the tax burden on the residents of Newberry Township, but I would not do so by failing to provide the highest quality necessary services to residents. State and Federal taxes are currently too high, so we need to do whatever we can to keep Township taxes reasonable. However, I believe our top priority must be top-notch police and fire services, followed by road maintenance and snow removal. If we are unable to provide these services at a high level without maintaining taxes at their current level, I will not jeopardize their quality by reducing Township revenue.
Because I pay all of my taxes here, I have a true understanding of what residents should expect in return. Since I don't have any business interests, I won't use my position as supervisor to change or eliminate fees for personal benefit. I want to look at the Township's fiscal situation from an impartial standpoint and suggest solutions that are fiscally sound.
Smith: To fight for the Founding Foundations of America as One Nation Under God. Stand up to outsiders out to destroy America like the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Saving the heritage of my hometown, the golf course and the speedway. We need more transparency and accountability, and to cut all waste, fraud and abuse of tax money. Pro-Article 1: sec. 21/2nd Amendment, Pro Article 1: sec 7/1st Amendment, Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage between one man and one woman. We need to repeal all Unconstitutional ordinances and anything not moral. Restore liberty and the American spirit and grit and let freedom ring once more. The UN is undermining the local and county governments and they don't even know it. How? The UN Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development. No one is fighting this.
3. Why did you decide to run for township supervisor? Why should people support your candidacy?
Conley: No response.
Cook: I bring common sense to the board, in the past there wasn't a lot of that used. I have no self serving agenda like others in the past and present. I will do my best to maintain the common sense approach to government.
Hughes: I have worked in construction for 40 years and have experience in all phases of construction and housing developments. Diversity on the Board is a plus and I am able to use my experiences to help make good decisions in many issues that arise. I was born in Newberry Township and lived here for 61 years. I would like to continue helping make our township the best it can be without raising taxes.
Miller: I can sum up my campaign with one word: Integrity. The residents of Newberry Township will always know me as a man who stands by my word, and will not seek personal gain from my position as a Supervisor. I will openly listen to the concerns of all Township residents, even though I may disagree with some. My decisions as a supervisor will always be with the best interests of the residents of Newberry Township in mind and I will care about the residents' opinions, positions, and needs when making those decisions. I will be accessible, accountable and responsible.
I've helped to lead the fight with the Valley Green Residents Organization against an unfeasible development of open space land that is a bad deal for the entire township not just those living near the golf course. I believe in encouraging more business to locate in Newberry Township, but not where it would affect essential services or cause unnecessary traffic congestion and safety hazards for residents. The same applies to new housing developments. When I serve as a Supervisor, I'll work as hard for every resident, Township-wide, as I have in my neighborhood. That's a promise you can take to the bank.
Smith: I am the only one to fight for and stand on our founding foundation of America. For a stable strong local self-government. I am for the PA & USA Constitutions. I am out to serve the people not myself. I will preserve our liberty and freedoms. I will hear your side of any complaints about the township's departments and correct them fairly. Agenda 21 is bad and needs to be resisted. You see it as regional plan, vision 2035, your town 2025, and one bay area. This is why I will slow things down before I vote for anything they have if in federal rules, regulations and grants. It is all about global control. Look up PostSustainabilityInstitute.org. You can be sure with Dwayne Smith to be on your side of freedom.