Township candidates throughout county bring array of experience
There are several races in many townships throughout Fayette County.
• In Bullskin, two candidates are vying for one open six-year supervisor seat.
They are Democrats David Butler and Roy Thayer. No Republicans are listed on the May 21 primary ballot.
Butler, 60, said he is well known in the area and his many years in the construction business would be an asset to the office.
“I've worked in construction for over 30 years, and I have experience in building roads, water lines and drains. If elected, I would make sure that all records are open and I would keep daily activity records and keep track of fuel and mileage. Everyone should know where every dollar goes and why.”
Thayer, 55, said that seeking grants is an option he would pursue.
“I feel that the township is doing really good right now with a solid foundation,” Thayer said, “but the one thing that I would do would be to try to get grants for things such as water lines and sewage lines, which are two things that I think would really help to improve the township.”
Seeking the office of tax collector on the Democratic ticket are incumbent Louis Bell and challenger Jeff Hann. On the Republican ticket are Kylie Stouffer Carleton and Ginny Martin.
Vying for the auditor position are Jeffrey Martucci and Mick Lilley, both Democrats.
• In Dunbar Township, three Democratic candidates are seeking the one, six-year seat.
They are incumbent John Toby Tabaj and challengers Chuck Clark and Vern Ohler.
There are no Republicans seeking the position.
Tabaj, 68, will be seeking his second term as supervisor and would like to continue in the office to be able to see through to the finish projects that have been started.
“There are a lot of projects that we started over the past six years and I would like to see them go on,” Tabaj said. “I'd like to see the water project and the sewage project and the industrial park along 119 finished. When I first ran, I felt that Dunbar Township was stagnant, and now we have things going on. We are going in the right direction.”
Clark, 31, feels that his many years in the construction business help to qualify him for the open seat, and he wants to bring his experience to the community.
“I like helping in the community,' Clark said. “I like working and I like doing what I can to help the people in the community. I feel that I work well with people and that I would treat everyone equally. Everyone's vote for me would be greatly appreciated.”
Ohler, 51, has worked for the Connellsville Street Department for 20 years and feels his experience in supervision and budget control would be assets in a supervisor position.
“My experience and knowledge can be used in better ways in a township that should be up and coming. I know I can make a difference given the chance,” he said. “I would love to see development of the Route 119 corridor now that sewage is getting put in. The township should have had a plan to make sure that the storm water system can handle any development. I also believe the township should purchase a crack sealing machine, which is a very economical way to preserve and add life to our township roads. I would also like to establish a digging ordinance like the one I implemented with the city of Connellsville.”
Seeking the office of tax collector are Democratic incumbent Marigrace Butela and Republican challenger Shelia Galliete, who will face off in the fall.
Democrat Don Homer is the sole candidate listed on the ballot for auditor.
• In Saltlick, three candidates are seeking the open seat for supervisor.
They are Democratic incumbent Greg Grimm and Republican challengers Steve Nietfeld and Gary Wilker.
Grimm, 50, is seeking his third term. He said his past terms as supervisor qualify him to continue in the position.
“I feel that experience plays a big role in this job, and I have 12 years' experience,” Grimm said. “I would like to continue to make improvements to the roads and to keep the township going strong without any tax increases.”
Nietfeld, 57, a business owner, hopes to help the township grow and go in a different direction.
“I have attended an estimated 100 township meetings over the years, and I feel that our township needs some new ideas,” Nietfeld said. “I would like to be able to make suggestions and try some new things. We need to attract outside businesses and attract people from outside of the township.”
Wilker, 56, has worked for many years as a truck driver, spending several of those years employed with PennDOT. He feels his vast knowledge of roadwork is a solid qualification for supervisor.
“I feel that it's time for a change and it's time to grow, and right now, I don't see that happening,” Wilker said. “I also think that the supervisors need to get things more out in the open and more public. I think that everything they do should be open to the public.”
Democrat Shari Bukovac is the sole candidate for tax collector.
• In Upper Tyrone, two Democratic candidates are vying for the open, six-year supervisor seat. They are Richard Beranek and Dewey Eutsey.
Beranek, 67, has been involved in the township and the community and feels he is qualified to fill the seat of supervisor.
“I go to the meetings, and I keep up on what is going on in the township,” he said. “I like helping in the community, and this is something that I really want to do while there is still time. I would really like to see the sewage going, and I would like to look into some type of funding to make that possible.
“We have a lot of low-income people in our township, so we would need grants and outside funding to make that possible for all the people of the township to then benefit from it,” Beranek added.
Attempts to reach Eutsey were unsuccessful.
Republican Laurie Hanchar is the lone candidate listed for tax collector.
• In Connellsville Township, Democrat Donald Hann is the sole candidate for supervisor.
Republican Andrea Doppelheuer and Democrat Daralynn Dari Gilpin will face off in the fall for the tax collector position.
• In Lower Tyrone, Republican Dennis Davis is the only candidate listed on the ballot for supervisor. Democrat Linda Cottom is the only candidate listed for tax collector. Democrat Meghan Leary is the only candidate listed for auditor.
• In Perry Township, Democrat Janet Galla is seeking the open seat for supervisor.
Democrat Donald Pidanich is the only candidate for tax collector. Republican Sara Sickle will face off against Democrat Pam Newmeyer for the position of auditor in the fall.
• In Springfield, incumbent Republican Ross Miner is the sole candidate listed for supervisor. Democrat Virginia Bowser is the sole candidate for tax collector. Democrat Marlene Kern is the only candidate for auditor.
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.