Akron council has a contest

By on May 15, 2013

By:

ANDY FASNACHT Review Editor afasnacht.eph@lnpnews.com

, Staff Writer

Having trouble finding any election signs out there?

With only a few contested races in the Review’s coverage area, the colorful placards which typically are a sure sign of spring locally have been few and far between.

In the Ephrata area, the only real drama for next Tuesday’s primary will be in Akron Borough where six Republican candidates will be vying for four borough council seats. Incumbents Perry Lorah, Justin Gehman, and president Thomas Murray join George Darby, a current member of the zoning board, and newcomers Marlyn "Jeff" Jefferson and Steven F. Weisbrod in the race.

Akron already has a new face on its board, as local civic leader Kay McElhenny was appointed last month to fill a vacancy created when David Landis resigned. That position however, was not up for re-election.

Of the new candidates, Republican Chairman Glen Beiler said Weisbrod was the only one to contact the committee after they put an ad out in January.

"Our committee never heard from the other newcomers," Beiler said. "We conducted interviews and are supporting the three incumbents and Steve."

Weisbrod, 40, is in customer care/sales for Weaver Energy in Lititz. He is a graduate of Lancaster Catholic and is a volunteer firefighter with Ephrata Pioneer. He has lived in Akron since October of 2010.

"I like Akron because it a quiet community," he said. "I am running for borough council because I think we need some fresh Ideas and I want to be a direct influence on the community’s direction."

Jefferson, 66, is a retired supervisor from the Dana Corporation and works part-time for Boyo Transportation. He is a graduate of Reading High School and lived in Ephrata for two years before coming to Akron in 2005.

When asked about not approaching the Republican committee, Jefferson came right out and said he didn’t want the endorsement.

"That stuff has to stop in this county," he said. " I don’t want to be beholden to anybody except the electorate."

Jefferson said he became interested in running for two reasons. The first had to do with the request to have sidewalks replaced on Fulton Street. He didn’t have an issue with having to replace the sidewalks, he just didn’t understand why it stopped at Miller Road and didn’t go to Rothsville Road.

The second reason has to do with the length of time people serve.

"I am a firm believer in two terms at most – it’s not a career," Jefferson said.

But overall, he clearly is happy with the town he now calls home.

"I love living in Akron," he said. "It’s quiet, has older people and it’s totally safe."

The Review made several attempts to contact Darby but was unable to reach him prior to presstime.

One other noteworthy development in this year’s primary is the situation which unfolded in Ephrata Borough’s Third Ward. Council member George DiIlio will not seek re-election and his republican seat remains empty on this Tuesday’s ballot. Democrat Tim Barr is currently running unopposed.

Barr is a veteran of the Navy and is commander at the Ephrata VFW. He is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and currently works as an equipment operator for Penn DOT.

One of Barr’s goals is to work to conserve electric use by supporting the use of alternative energy sources and continue to revitalize Ephrata, according to ephratadems.org.

For a complete list of local races, please see the election graphic on page A-6.

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More ELECTION, page A6

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