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West Deer incumbent supervisors tout experience

| Thursday, May 16, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

After sitting out the mandated, two-year election cycle, Leonard Guerre is running for his old position as a West Deer supervisor.

Guerre, who had served 16 years on the board, is one of five candidates seeking three Democrat nominations for four-year terms in Tuesday's primary election.

Under the West Deer Home Rule Charter, any supervisor who serves eight consecutive years on the board must sit out an election cycle before being able to run again.

In Guerre's case, he has served two separate, eight-year stints. This is the second time he has sat out an election cycle.

There are no Republican candidates on the primary ballot, although someone could mount a write-in campaign.

“We did a lot to keep the taxes as low as possible, and we were able to get the old NIKE missile site transformed into youth football and soccer fields,” Guerre said of his work in previous terms.

Guerre, who calls himself “a common-sense guy,” also cited building a road-salt storage shed. He said that saves the township about $20,000 per year, because the township is able to buy road salt in the summer at cheaper prices than getting restocked in the winter when the prices are higher and availability is uncertain.

The former supervisor said getting more activities for children would be a priority in the next four years.

“There's not enough in the township for kids to do,” Guerre said.

Incumbent Supervisor Jeffrey Fleming, current board chairman, is seeking a second term.

“I feel we have a great board,” he said. “There's a positive attitude when I got on the board, considering I had never run before. We've improved the parks, we have a road (improvement) program, and we've tried to keep taxes low.”

The township recently set aside a portion of its budget dedicated to street and road renovation.

“I'd like to see that roads program prosper; it has a way to go,” Fleming said. “I'd like to keep improving Bairdford Park and keep taxes as low as we possibly can.”

Supervisor Shirley Hollinbaugh has served eight years and cannot run in this cycle.

Fleming agrees with the Home Rule Charter.

“You can get a fresh start; every two years you get new people in,” Fleming said.

Others running for the Democrat nomination are incumbent Ricki Florentine, and candidates Shelly Pittinaro and Kris Yarussi.

Multiple attempts to contact Florentine, Pittinaro and Yarussi by phone requesting they share their views on township issues were unsuccessful.

George Guido is a freelance writer forTrib Total Media.

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