Jeff Sauder, incoming West Cocalico supervisor, devoted to his native municipality

By on July 26, 2017

 

Jeff Sauder

Jeff Sauder

The newest West Cocalico Township supervisor comes onto the board with a positive view of a place where he has lived from birth.

“I love the township the way it is,” Jeff Sauder told The Ephrata Review on July 24. “I enter this board with no agenda.”

Sauder was appointed by the board on Tuesday, July 18, and will officially take office at the Aug. 3 meeting. He fills the vacancy created when Supervisor Ray Burns resigned and moved to another part of Pennsylvania.

Sauder has worked locally in the telecommunications industry for more than 29 years, first as a technician with D&E communications, then in management. Now, D&E has become Windstream, and Sauder is director of operations for central and eastern Pennsylvania. His work, he said, takes him to many communities in the state, and has shown him a lot about working with contracts and managing people.

Sauder’s wife Laurie works at Fulton Bank. His son Nate is 22 and works in heavy equipment operation after graduating from Penn College of Technology in Williamsport. Sauder said he benefits a lot from having the support of a great family behind him.

Sauder’s family ties to the township also go back a long way. His maternal grandfather, he said, owned part of the now-defunct Hershey Brothers Feed Mill and Coal Co. that many Reinholds residents remember as an iconic landmark.

Sauder said his father, John, instilled in him the value of giving back one’s time to the community by being heavily involved with the Reinholds Fire Company and the Reinholds Ambulance Association in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sauder’s hobbies include hunting and golf, and he has served on the boards of two local golf associations.

Looking forward to his imminent addition to the West Cocalico board of supervisors, Sauder said he wants to bring a sense of integrity, dependability, and fairness to his seat and work hard for township residents.

“I’ve always been interested in how changes happen in the township,” Sauder said. “I’m proud of West Cocalico … this is just a way for me to give back to the community.”

Sauder said he hopes he is seen as attentive to the needs of residents.

“I do want to listen to people,” he said. “I know that decisions that we have to make sometimes aren’t the easiest.”

Sauder recollected watching Terry Sheetz, a long-time former West Cocalico supervisor, serve on the board, and his sense that Sheetz cared about the township.

“I knew that Terry Sheetz had our backs,” Sauder said. “I knew he would do what’s right for the community.”

Thinking about some of those decisions, such as budgeting or managing public works departments, Sauder said it’s important to him that workers have what they need to get the job done.

“I’m a tools and training person,” Sauder said. “If you don’t have the right tools, you can’t get the job done.”

Another value that Sauder feels is important is agricultural preservation, a hallmark of county planning and a major aspect of working with how county communities move into the future. The beauty of the township’s farmland, Sauder said, is something that he feels is worth protecting.

“We want to preserve the integrity of the township,” Sauder said.

Sauder also mentioned anther issue that he wants to keep an eye on: the cost of doing business for local governments.

Township costs, he said, tend to push up property taxes.

Sauder said he’ll be dedicated to looking at township costs such as equipment, purchasing and salaries, to make sure that the results don’t drive taxes through the roof.

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