Seven people are seeking seats on Glen Rock council in the 2009 election, and two council members are squaring off against one another for a partial term.

One two-year council seat is on the May 19 primary election ballot, and three people are seeking that seat. They include Bob Becker and current council members Lucy Cadwallader and Richard Shiles. Shiles and Becker filed to run as Republicans; Cadwallader as a Democrat.

There are three four-year council seats on the ballot. Candidates for those seats include Republicans John Peters, Neil Strein and Doug Young and Democrat Lisa Stare. Peters is a current council member; another councilman, Daniel Eadie, did not file to seek re-election.

 

Biographical information:

 

Council, 2-year term

 

Richard Shiles (R)

Age / Address: 69, of Glen Avenue, Glen Rock
Family: Married, grown children
Occupation: Retired
Current community involvement: Serves on a church council

Lucy Cadwallader (D)

Age / Address: 48, of Hanover St., Glen Rock
Family: Married, 2 children
Occupation: Homemaker
Current community involvement: I am currently in my second year on Glen Rock Borough council, I chair Special Projects, Co-chair Public Safety, I am a member of LGAC (Local Government Advisory Committee), President of the Glen Rock Community Center Organization, I attend Glen Rock Planning Commission meetings, York County Economic Development meetings and currently working on the Southern York County Comprehensive Plan and FEMA recommendations for the borough. I also work with the Southern Branch YMCA Youth/SACC/Camp-Program Committee.

Bob Becker (R)

Age / Address: 71, of Church Street
Family: Widower
Occupation: Retired from U.S. Navy as a machinist
Current community involvement: citizen watchdog

 

Council, 4-year term

 

John M. Peters (R)

Age / Address: 27, of Manchester Street, Glen Rock
Family: Single, no children.
Occupation: Senior Security Specialist
Current community involvement: As a current member of council it keeps me busy with community activities such as Public Safety training, Council, Police Commission, Public Safety, Special Projects, Buildings and Property meetings and all the tasks that come with them.

Doug Young (R)

Age / Address: 45 / 2576 Rexwood Dr
Family: Married, two children who attend Susquehannock High School
Occupation: Retired Air Force Officer and Professional Pilot
Current community involvement: I am currently involved with an aviation related educational mentoring program that teaches math, science, geography, language arts, career planning, and presentation skills in a 5th grade class at Friendship Elementary School.

Lisa Stare (D)

No response

Neal Strein (R)

No response

 

Questions:

 

1. If the borough council could make one change to improve the quality of life for borough residents, what change would you recommend supervisors make? Explain your answer.

Shiles (2 years): The borough needs to initiate a long-term plan for the revitalization and sustainment of the downtown as a vibrant center of activity. Since Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972, the downtown portion of the borough has experienced a downward trend, both in the economic sphere and in the deterioration of the older buildings, leading to a loss of community. It is important that we look at the adaptive reuse of the older existing historic buildings before they are lost in order to retain the “historic” ambiance of the community. Further, we need to promote uses tied to the local market in order to strengthen the downtown business area and contribute to the economic vitality of the borough.

Cadwallader (2 years): I would like borough council to form and adopt a Historical Preservation Committee to look into a state grant to purchase the old Oakworks building. The grant would bring the building up to code and make it useful to the community. Our community center on Baltimore Street has been condemned and will be torn down this year (due to a CDBG grant). A community/recreation center in the heart of the downtown area would serve not only the youth of Glen Rock, but would also bring money and interest into the borough. Glen Rock's tax base is extremely limited due to the present economic conditions and lack of available land to develop, therefore, small businesses/shops in the recreation center would help offset rising taxes.

Becker (2 years): Microphone and loudspeaker all public Glen Rock Boro Council meetings!

Peters (4 years): The traffic issues in the borough. Citizens know what traffic can be like in the borough. Church Street with the overweight trucks illegally traveling it; we need better signs (PennDOT). Manchester Street is like a racetrack. Hanover Street is 95% residential homes and for some reason there are residents that don't care about the 25 MPH speed limit. There is the blind spot coming out of Water Street on to Main Street. Vehicles running the traffic light and the “now” one-lane bridge to Valley Street. I could go on. There have been traffic studies done on several intersections in the borough. Some of the conclusions I am unhappy with, others need change and repair but can't be addressed because of the budget. There are too many people out and about for traffic to continue this way. It needs improvement for the safety of our citizens.

Young (4 years): I would like to see the borough council improve communication with borough residents. The borough could really benefit from having its own web site to facilitate communication with the people of Glen Rock. A dedicated web site would have many uses; for example, provide access to information about permits, trash collection, and upcoming events and meeting schedules. I feel that many community events in the borough are under-attended because residents are unaware or find out too late to include the event in their plans. Although the borough may not have the resources for a robust event schedule, the events that the borough does have could be better advertised. I believe making borough information available via a web site would increase participation in community events, improve the efficiency of the borough office and benefit all residents in many ways.

Stare (4 years): No response.

Strein (4 years): No response.

2. At 2.8 mills, Glen Rock's property tax rate is a little above average for York County's 37 boroughs. Are taxpayers getting their money's worth from borough government? Why or why not? Are there avenues the borough should explore to save money or control costs? What are they?

Shiles (2 years): Although there are things that we could perhaps do better and/or smarter, I believe that we, the residents of Glen Rock, are receiving a fair return on our money. Further, while I agree that the boroughs tax rate is a little higher than other municipalities in the county, and would obviously prefer to see it reduced, it is important that the borough provides its residents with the services they expect and deserve. The borough has, and will continue to take all necessary actions available to control costs without cutting into our basic services or adversely impacting our future growth potential. We are, and will continue to look into all available grants and other forms of financial assistance that can be used to enhance the borough's quality of life while reducing the operating costs borne by the property tax base.

Cadwallader (2 years): Glen Rock's budget required a property tax rate increase in order to continue with Southern Regional Police. We are using a large portion of our budget to pay for police coverage. To keep costs down in the borough, we are extremely fortunate to have volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel. The borough had to lay off two of its four staff in 2009. Our secretary and maintenance supervisor are working solo. They are thankless jobs, and Glen Rock residents should feel fortunate to have such dedicated staff working and volunteering for the borough.
As a member of council, I feel Glen Rock borough officials are doing the best job possible under extreme financial limitations. Under special projects, I am currently looking into grants to help pay for our infrastructure problems and to revitalize our downtown area.

Becker (2 years): Have all council voting as pertains to spending and appropriating money for projects be done in the open arena as opposed to doing it in the back room under the guise of "executive session."

Peters (4 years): No, the citizens are not getting their monies worth; they are getting what we can afford. With not much room to grow, we are limited financially. The budget must be met. Yes, there are avenues we can explore to save money and control cost, and we have already taken some of those avenues such as budget cuts on projects and personnel. We are seeking help through grants.

Young (4 years): There is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to spending taxpayers' money. I feel the borough can improve its budgetary planning process and also improve the fiscal discipline employed in spending money. On several occasions, I have witnessed the council allocate funds to projects with little analysis of the benefit to the residents and with few project details. At the time there didn't seem to be any long-term planning involved in the council's decision-making process. I think better long-term budget planning would serve the borough well and ensure funds are allocated where they are needed most.

Stare (4 years): No response.

Strein (4 years): No response.

3. Specify another major issue that faces the borough in your mind. How would you address that issue?

Shiles (2 years): As mentioned above, the deterioration of the older buildings leads to the appearance of decay and blight within the downtown area. The rehabilitation of the older unutilized/underutilized buildings within the downtown area and the remediation and stabilization of the banks of South Codorus Creek within the boroughs limits from Valley Street to Water Street will aid in the elimination of the appearance of blight and add to the vitality of the borough. Additionally, we need to pursue housing and redevelopment grants to assist our residents in upgrading the older homes in the Historic District to both enhance their appearance and their energy efficiency. Finally, we need to consider the creation of a small park in the center of town complete with park benches, a children's play area, etc. for the benefit and enjoyment of the borough's residents.

Cadwallader (2 years): A major issue that influences my decisions on council is the safety of our residents. Areas that need/have been addressed are:
1) Enforcement of the weight restrictions on Church Street-I have sent numerous emails to PennDOT about changing the signs on the Susquehanna Trail, eliminating truck use on Church Street due to safety reasons and using the alternate route. Unfortunately no changes have been made by PennDOT as of yet.
2) Reducing speeding in the borough-I ordered and picked up signs for our pedestrian walk ways, along bus stops. It is unfortunate that both signs have been stolen.
3) Continued rental inspections-To insure tenant safety, rental inspections must continue in the borough.

Becker (2 years): Install the "Guardian Angels" as a protective measure to patrol Glen Rock Boro.

Peters (4 years): I would recommend property improvement. This is a touchy subject, but I'm going to talk about it. If some properties would be maintained and kept in good condition, the appearance and value would increase. A higher property value equals more taxes collected by the borough. This would give the borough more money to spend and taxes might not go up. I'm sure there would also be a greater desire to live in Glen Rock. It is understood that this is difficult for some residents to accomplish for many different reasons but if we tried, I believe this would benefit all of us.

Young (4 years): I am not running for borough council on any one specific issue. I believe there are many issues facing the borough, each requiring a devoted council to realize the best solution for the residents. I've had plenty of experience leading people, managing a budget, running projects, and improving processes in my career. These skills would be valuable in addressing all of the issues that come before the borough council.

Stare (4 years): No response.

Strein (4 years): No response.

4. How do you feel about the police protection Glen Rock receives?

Shiles (2 years): One of the reasons that the Boroughs property tax rate is so high is that Glen Rock is a member of the Southern Regional Police Department with its attendant costs and as such does not rely on the State Police for its police protection.

Cadwallader (2 years): Overall residents feel Southern Regional Police response time is good. As stated in question 2, regional police coverage is becoming too costly for small municipalities such as Glen Rock.

Becker (2 years): This question is moot, as by the time I'm in office, the Southern Regional Police will no longer cover Glen Rock. Their contract expires December 31, 2009, midnight.

Peters (4 years): The Southern Regional Police Department continues to serve Glen Rock Borough averaging 50 to 60 calls of service each month; they are sufficient and extremely important to our community. Although many residents are concerned with their cost, they offer us the protection and response time we need. Can you put a price on the security of your family's well being? I cannot emphasize enough on how important they are. They have 100% of my support. Glen Rock would be a different place with out the coverage they provide. Other options for service are being looked into, but none compare to the quality of service that Southern Regional Police Department offers.

Young (4 years): Glen Rock is currently served by the Southern Regional Police Department. This is in addition to protection provided by the state police. The Southern Regional Police Department provides 24-hour emergency response as well as routine patrol services of the Glen Rock borough. I believe the borough is well served by the Southern Regional Police Department.

Stare (4 years): No response.

Strein (4 years): No response.

5. Why did you decide to run for election this year and why should voters support you in your quest for a seat you are seeking? What unique qualifications do you offer voters?

Shiles (2 years): As a resident of Glen Rock, I believe that my education, training and experience can be of service to the community. I have a Master of Science degree in Administration and post-graduate work in policy formulation, plus am a graduate of the U.S. Army War College in strategic studies. Additionally, as both a retired U.S. Army officer with a background in plans and operations and the Director of Operations for National Security in the Federal Government, I have spent the past 40+ years in service to our nation as a leader and administrator. As such, I believe that it is important for citizens to be involved in and support their government.

Cadwallader (2 years): I have decided to run for re election in 2010 because I would like to continue with projects I started in my first term. The Codorus Creek is an intricate part of Glen Rock's downtown area. For two years I have organized a “Glen Rock Clean the Stream” day.
I would like to continue to focus on our stream by working with WAY (Watershed Alliance of York), Jake Romig president of Ecostruction, LLC, PA Borough's Association, and government agencies. I plan to continue to improve the safety and appearance of the downtown area.
My most unique qualification I offer voters is my dedication to my job. In my 16 months on borough council, I have attended seminars, meetings and training programs to further understand the mechanics of local government. I apply what I have learned to my borough council position in Glen Rock.

Becker (2 years): First part of question: To cut through the crap! Second part of question: My unique quality is honesty!

Peters (4 years): I decided to run again because I want to continue with the improvements and activities the borough is going through. Whether I get elected or not, I will continue my community involvement. Being on the council helps keep me in the loop. I offer an open mind for improvement and growth. I am committed to this and will do my best. I will defend what's in the best interest for the citizens of Glen Rock Borough to the best of my ability.

Young (4 years): I have sat through many borough council meetings and, in doing so, I felt there were many ways to improve upon council processes. While attending the meetings, it became obvious that some council members had no interest in devoting the time to respond to the needs of the residents. I was recently asked by several people to run for a council position because they believe I have a lot to contribute to the borough. I feel that I could help the council become more efficient and better serve the community of Glen Rock and I am willing to spend the time needed to do just that. Having spent over 21 years as an Air Force officer, I have the professional leadership training and experience to provide a proactive approach to the issues that affect the borough. I would appreciate your vote!

Stare (4 years): No response.

Strein (4 years): No response.