Since it’s an off year, some people might not really know that there is an election tomorrow (November 5). There is. We may not be choosing a president or senators or governor, but don’t think for a moment that these elections don’t matter. In fact, I am off the mind that these elections matter more because the decisions of borough council and school board have a more direct effect on people than those made by folks in D.C.
Regardless of whether you agree with that or not, I encourage everyone to get out and vote. The whole thing takes very little time. You can find information about the borough and school board races in Hanover by following these links:
As expected, I have strong opinions on both. The school board now has several options, and I urge people to vote for Maria Shea (my wife, duh), Brian Frederick and Jared Reck. I know both of the guys very well and really believe they will be the best choice to look out for students, taxpayers and teachers. They all bring a different set of skills and experiences to the table, but end up in similar places philosophically.
Things don’t seem as bad in the district as they did maybe 12-15 months ago, but we can’t just ignore the importance of this race simply because the borough has managed to be a colossal screw-up. There are still state mandates and budget problems that will stick around because of the screwy state formulas. I trust these three to be leaders in solving those problems.
I don’t have as strong a feeling on the fourth person and may not make up my mind until I am in the booth, but I don’t have faith in Charles Farley at all and will decide between Karen Daubert and Tim Williams between I vote. There is also a two-year seat open, and current board member Rick Engle is listed for that seat. Brian Frederick also won that spot in the primary, but chose to focus on the four-year seat instead so Engle got it as the next-highest write in.
As far as the borough goes, each ward has one candidate so it seems as if these five will end up on council. I don’t know if this is a good thing at all. In the First Ward, my ward, incumbant Gerald Funke is on the ballot. I have now had the greatest opinion of him in the past, but like that he is stepping up and pointing out things like how the borough needs to not just rely on Gannett Flemming for engineering services. Since he works in that field, I like that he’s speaking out now, but wish he had before. To me, that shows the power of the bullying that current council president John Gerken employs (he’s not up on the ballot this year) with the gavel. I’m OK with Funke getting another four years, although it’s with some trepidation. If he helps root out some of the shenanigans associated with the borough’s cozy relationship with Gannett Flemming, he’ll be aces in my book.
In Ward 2, local businessman Bill Reichart is running. I don’t know Bill, but I have dealt with his wife through some school stuff and know his sons the same way. My impression is that even if I don’t like what he ends up doing, I’ll respect him for how he does it. That’s more than I can say for a lot of council. I don’t think he’ll give into pressure from leadership, which is the first step toward fixing the problems on council.
In Ward 3, Robert Marcoccio found his way onto the ballot. He has apparently tried to run for Congress before as a tea party candidate and has lots of strong views on national issues such as that. To me, this seems like someone who wants to be elected to something, anything, just so he can have a soap box. While that may provide for some interesting entertainment at council meetings, the last thing the borough needs is someone trying to push a personal agenda. He has a slightly prolific web presence, and I see nothing about local issues in any of it. I have a bad feeling about this guy. I really hope someone else in the Third Ward has a write-in campaign secretly brewing and steps up.
Same in Ward 4. Sonny Eline needs to go, plain and simple. Winners in these two wards usually only get 100-125 votes. If someone can muster 60-70 folks to get behind them, these two guys might not cause further problems in the borough.
Former Fire Comissioner Jim Roth is running in the Fifth Ward. I approach Jim the same way I do Bill Reichart – I have no idea if we will agree on things, but I know I can trust him to be above petty BS. My hope with Jim is that he brings some of the no-nonsense curiosity that Gerken and Barb Krebs hate. The council president likely won’t be able to push around one of the most respected borough employees. I hope Jim brings some sanity and levity to the board.
I certainly wish we had more choices, but we have to work with the situation we have. Get out and vote because these people make decisions that affect your day-to-day living.