4 candidates seeking nod for Mt. Pleasant Township supervisor seat
Four candidates are seeking their party's nomination in the May 21 primary for the one open six-year term of Mt. Pleasant Township supervisor.
On the Democratic ticket are incumbent Frank Puskar and Robert Hudec. On the Republican ticket are Aaron Howard and Robert Whalen.
Puskar, 44, is in his first full six-year term. Before that, he had been appointed to the seat which had been vacated.
“I am very proud to be a part of what has been accomplished in our township over the past few years,” Puskar said. “We have worked hard to keep the roads up and with grants, completed projects, and doing a lot of work inhouse, we have been able to save the taxpayers of the township a lot of money over the years. I am also very proud to say that there has not been a increase in the taxes in the township for 74 years and I personally would like to see that continue.”
Hudec, 52, says he wants to seek more grant money and see the township go in a better direction.
“First off, I definitely want to help the fire departments and the EMS in our township,” Hudec said. “I want our township to have a different look and we need to go in a different direction because we have been spinning our wheels in a hole. I'd like to seek more grant money for the roads, parks and recreation and other programs and I just feel that there is a lot in the township that needs addressing. It's time for new leadership.”
Howard, 35, said he could be a big asset to the township.
“One of the first things that I would like to see is a pay freeze for all the supervisors. I personally do not feel that any elected official should receive a raise while the economy is bad. I would also like to try to cooperate with the borough to arrange for their police to also cover the township, with us possibly splitting the cost. We need more of a police presence in the township. I also think that we should work on making the township more attractive to try and draw more families to the township. I have a lot of ideas that I feel would be good for the township,” said Howard.
Whalen, 54, would like to address some citizens who have voiced disapproval of the present supervisors.
“I am disappointed with the incumbents' lack of service as they are not responsive to issues and concerns of the citizens of the township,” Whalen said. “I would work to actively seek the tearing down of the old Hecla school building which is a huge safety concern and I also feel that all of the township business has to be completely transparent. Everyone in the township has a right to know what is and what isn't being done and if you would come to me with an issue or concern, no matter how big or small, they would all be equally important to me.”
Although East Huntingdon supervisor Democrat Howard Keefer's name appears in the official listing for the upcoming election, he has decided to withdraw after 29 years.
“I sat down with my wife and we talked and we decided that it would be best if I not run for another term,” Keefer said. “I thought about it a long time and I will not be running again.”
Challenger Justin Morrow, Democrat, will now be running unopposed.
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.