Six candidates, five seatsFate of school board rests in hands of voters

By on November 2, 2011

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

As area citizens head to the voting booths next week, they will be faced with one big decision — for whom to cast their vote for the Cocalico School Board.

Six candidates will be competing for five seats. Five are current board members and are running on the Republican ticket, and one candidate is on the Democratic side of the ballot.

Although Andrew Terry, the sole Democratic candidate, did not capture a spot on the Republican ballot during the spring primary, he is comfortable with the positive feedback he has gotten in his interaction with the community this fall.

A former Cocalico High School principal, Terry feels that in the case of school board, it should not matter whether a candidate is Republican or Democrat but what he or she plans on doing for the district. He feels that his experience in knowing how schools operate can help things move in the right direction.

"Our administration needs to be forthright, up front and center and working hard, said Terry. "In reality the first thing that should be thought about are the kids and not how you feel politically," said Terry.

Terry observed that the number one thing residents have expressed concern about are the taxes. He feels he could also use his knowledge and current experience as a realtor to consider redoing how districts tax.

"That’s one of the reasons I’d like to become a board member; because then I would have the opportunity to talk to other board members, see what other school districts are doing and make things better for the kids."

To refresh voters’ memory, here is a little information about each of the five incumbent candidates for school board from the article published in the May 4 edition of the Review:

Mary Waskowicz

Waskowicz is a former kindergarten teacher and member of the PTO of her children’s school, Denver Elementary. She is campaigning for her second term because she feels like she’s making a contribution to her community by helping to provide a good education for the children.

Tim Zimmerman

A member who has already served three terms, Zimmerman chose to run again because he feels the board’s current team has the motives for ensuring that the district’s future is a bright one. He feels it takes awhile to get a handle on the requirements that get handed down and that the next board has a lot of responsibilities.

Barry Harting

Harting, a Cocalico graduate and father of a district eighth grader, is running for his second term. He feels that the board has made some tough decisions during the last year. He feels the battle for more funding from state and federal resources needs to be a key focus so that quality education is still provided.

Allen Dissinger

The current president of the board, Dissinger is also the longest tenured member. He feels dealing with budget issues over the next few years will be tough. Dissinger is prepared to use all the knowledge he has gained over the past 16 years, what citizens are experiencing currently as well as the future when making decisions.

Kevin Eshleman

Eshleman, a pastor of Ephrata Community Church, is seeking his third term on the board. He hopes it will allow him to continue to have a hand in making the district one of the most successful in the county as far as providing what’s best for the students, community and taxpayers.

In another race, although not a contested one, a resident could secure a spot on Denver Borough Council from a single write-in vote.

Walter Fink and Michael Cohick are the two Republicans on the ballot, but there are three seats open.

"More than likely the future of the open seat on Borough Council will be decided on election night," said Mike Hession, borough manager.

Hession stated that if there are no write-in votes, borough council will have 30 days to appoint a registered elector of the borough in that position. However, he is fairly confident they will not need to go that route.

"During the primary there were a handful of residents who received write-in votes; however, no one resident received the minimum number of write-in votes to be included on the November ballot," said Hession.

The number of votes needed in the primary was 10; in the fall election, there is no minimum.

"According to the county, nobody can be forced to serve in the elected office so everyone has a choice of whether they are will to serve," said Hession.

The person who receives the most write-in votes during the election will be sent a letter from the elections office to determine if they want to accept the position. If they choose not to, then the process moves to the borough council to appoint someone.

If it does come to council appointment, a list of possible candidates will be identified and then invited to attend a public meeting of borough council. The appointment will be discussed and then a vote taken, all in open session.

Borough council may be unable to fill the position in this way; in that case, the vacancy then shall be filled within 15 additional days by the vacancy board, consisting of the borough council, exclusive of the mayor, and one registered elector of the borough, who shall be appointed by borough council at the council’s first meeting each calendar year or as soon thereafter as practical. This person shall act as chairperson for the vacancy board.

If the vacancy board cannot fill the position, the board will need to petition the Court of Common Pleas to fill the vacancy by the appointment of a registered elector of the borough.

Three candidates are on the ballot to fill the same number of seats for Adamstown Borough Council. David Gundrum, Edward Zander and Joseph Dietrich are all Republicans.

East Cocalico Township is the home of two races this election. Republican Mark Janke and Democrat Leo Noble will vie for the one open auditor seat. Unopposed, Noelle Fortna seeks to be re-elected for supervisor, representing the Republicans.

Rounding out the local election are two uncontested races in West Cocalico Township. Incumbent James Stoner is running for the one open supervisor spot, while Eugene Becker is the candidate for auditor. Both are Republicans.

Registered voters may visit polling locations anytime between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Before voters step into the voting booth

next Tuesday, here’s what to expect… Cocalico School

District

(vote for five)

Republican

Tim Zimmerman

Kevin Eshleman

Barry Harting

Allen Dissinger

Mary Waskowicz

Democrat

Andrew Terry

Adamstown

Borough Council

(vote for three)

Republican

David Gundrum

Edward Zander

Joseph Dietrich

Denver Borough

Council

(vote for up to three)

Republican

Walter Fink

Michael Cohick

East Cocalico

Township Supervisor

(vote for one)

Republican

Noelle Fortna

East Cocalico

Township Auditor

(vote for one)

Republican

Mark Janke

Democrat

Leo Noble

West Cocalico

Township Supervisor

(vote for one)

Republican

James Stoner

West Cocalico

Township Auditor

(vote for one)

Eugene Becker VOTE More COCALICO, page A11

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