Hitting the ground running

By on August 20, 2015

New state Rep. Zimmerman has weekly office hours in Ephrata

Pennsylvania Rep. David Zimmerman feels comfortable taking the reiER_ZIMMERMANns of the evolving 99th District.

The 99th recently added Akron and lost Brecknock Township from its constituency base.

Zimmerman has been well-known for years in and around the Eastern Lancaster County School District as an East Earl Township supervisor for two decades.

But Zimmerman, who now represents a 99th District that’s enlarged its geographic footprint, is wasting no time connecting to his constituency from his new office at 127 Peters Road outside of New Holland.

“My constituency is fairly diverse,” Zimmerman noted. “It rolls from Akron, Ephrata and New Holland, to rural Salisbury and Caernarvon townships.”

“And it may be more diverse today than it was a few years ago,” he said.

Akron recently moved to the 99th District from the 43rd while Brecknock Township is now part of 128th District represented by Rep. Mark Gillen’s of Berks County.

Zimmerman said he’s actively reaching out to new and old geographic areas and has recently attended meetings with elected officials in Akron and Ephrata.

Zimmerman, who grew up on a dairy farm and has several years’ experience as East Earl’s roadmaster, didn’t have the option to choose what committees he could serve on as a first-term new Pennsylvania state representative in Harrisburg.

“They do look at (new state representative’s) backgrounds and interests and I was selected to serve on the local government committee which serves me well,” he said. “I’m also on the agriculture committee which was my background prior to local government.”

Zimmerman was elected to take Gordon Denlinger’s seat in the 99th when Denlinger chose to challenge fellow Republican Ryan Aument for Mike Brubaker’s state Senate seat.

Zimmerman also was selected to work on the tourism committee which “next to ag is second largest industry not only in Lancaster but in Pennsylvania,” he said.

The fourth committee Zimmerman represents is the human services committee which is very significant since it encompasses nearly 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s budget.

He has also served on the Lancaster County Agricultural Preservation Board for the past five years.

One of his first moves as a state representative was to create more accessibility to his office. While Denlinger’s office was located on the fourth floor, Zimmerman is on the first floor at 127 Peter Road, which is south of Akron and west of New Holland.

“What this does it puts us almost center (in the 99th District) north and south on the first floor,” Zimmerman said.

This is also more accessible to much of his constituency within the plain community. The office is in the former space occupied by Quality Custom Cabinetry – which moved out of the first floor

“We have quite a few of our constituents that actually come to our office who are elderly and I think the first floor is just more conducive for them – it’s easy to get in and out of here,” he said.

The budget crisis in Harrisburg has put a strain on Zimmerman’s local schedule but his priority remains is to visit constituents in their home areas as quickly as possible.

Zimmerman has set up satellite hours all around the 99th District.

Rep. Zimmerman and his staff have satellite hours at Ephrata Area Rehab Services (EARS) on the first Tuesday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 121 W Fulton St. in Ephrata.

Beginning next month, Zimmerman will start satellite hours in Gap on first Wednesday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Shady Maple Café, 835 Houston Run Drive.

Shady Maple Café and library opened in Gap in the space formerly occupied by Angela’s Café at the Family Center of Gap.

The café is owned by The Weaver family, owners of the Shady Maple businesses in Zimmerman’s home town of East Earl.

Zimmerman still lives in East Earl with his wife, Ruth Ann. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

He admits one his greatest challenges moving from a position as township supervisor to state representative is finding enough hours in the day.

“Time is the big factor,” he said. “There’s almost no end to what we can do in reaching out to constituents and helping them with issues, directing them to the appropriate agencies and things like that.”

You can contact Rep. Zimmerman on 1st Floor at 127 Peters Road , New Holland, or call (717) 556-0031.

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