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Valley News Dispatch

John Haven turns from supervisor to school director, but sticks with hiking trail issues

Mary Ann Thomas
| Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, 11:00 p.m.
John Haven, of Buffalo Township, a former township supervisor who now is a Freeport Area school director and member of the township's parks and recreation board.
John Haven, of Buffalo Township, a former township supervisor who now is a Freeport Area school director and member of the township's parks and recreation board.

After 11 years as a supervisor and now a Freeport Area School Board member, John Haven can't stay away from the Butler-Freeport Community Trail.

It's not that Haven, 71, is just an avid trail user. He walks and rides it when he can.

More so, he's an avid volunteer who was just appointed vice chairman of the Buffalo Township Parks and Recreation Board for a two-year term.

The fact that he is serving on the parks and recreation board is nothing new; he's done it before as a supervisor.

What's special now is that he has chosen to continue his work with the trail after he left as supervisor to serve on the Freeport Area School Board.

“I am relieved and happy he came to me and said, ‘I want to be on your committee,' ” said Terry Tague, chairman of the parks and recreation board.

“Every once in a while, you have someone who makes a big difference, and John is one of them,” Tague said.

During his tenure on council, including serving as the supervisors' chairman, Haven, a retired supervisor from Allegheny Technologies, has been instrumental in securing funding and support for the 21-milelong trail that runs from Freeport to Butler.

“I wanted to stay active with the trail, and I wanted a smooth transition,” he said.

Currently, Haven serves as chairman of the board of the Friends of Buffalo Township, which is a foundation that promotes activities in the township. He also serves on the board of the Butler County Conservation District. Previously, Haven served as vice-president Butler-Freeport Community Trail Council.

Haven left his township post because he said he wanted to see if there was anything he could do on the Freeport Area School Board to tamp down potential school tax increases, which he says in the past have been hard on residents on fixed incomes.

While focusing on his school board agenda, Haven still feels passionately about the Butler-Freeport Trail and the new park along the trail being developed by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania and the township.

Haven would like to see a bike sojourn or some kind of bike event added to the trail activities, which now includes five different foot races.

Haven's replacement

Since Haven resigned this month to serve on the school board, council appointed John Zurisko, 64, at a special meeting last month to fill Haven's seat.

Zurisko, a self-employed contractor, previously served on the township's planning commission.

Zurisko said he thinks the roads are in good condition but a major issue is the future of a much busier Route 356, which is still under study by PennDOT.

“In the township, it's about balancing development and keeping the country feel and businesses,” he said.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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