Gettysburg Hospital Thrift Shop will close

The Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop on Gettysburg Square will close in its current location as of August 31. Future plans are still up in the air. “WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital and the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary have made the difficult decision to end the lease of the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop located at 10 Lincoln Square in Gettysburg, effective Aug. 31, 2022,” said Wellspan Communications Director Jason McSherry. “Hospital and auxiliary leaders are currently discussing future options for the thrift store and we will share more details as they are finalized,” The shop has been a gathering place for Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary volunteers and community shoppers since the 1920s and has provided important services to the community. Thrift store employees said the shop was closing because the rent had increased substantially. Regular local visitors to the shop, including countless college students, thrifty shoppers, and tourists, have found bargains in the store’s “gently used clothing.” The shop’s eclectic selection, from board games to kitchen appliances to Christmas decorations to men’s and women’s clothes of every age and style, created a unique shopping experience for customers and brought in a revenue stream for the hospital. The relaxed atmosphere has created a hub of community interaction, and the large display windows have provided a look into the past. According to its website, the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary has donated over one million dollars to support the hospital, including donating equipment to the hospital, helping refurbish the hospital’s maternity wing and nursery, supporting health initiatives, redecorating the hospital lobby and common areas, and creating the meditation room at the WellSpan Adams Health Center. The Auxiliary also awards an annual $2,000 scholarship to local students pursuing careers in health care.  Auxiliary volunteers also operate the gift shop in the Gettysburg hospital.

Rice Fruit Company’s Apples are “Sweet Natured”

Only a dozen or so miles north of Gettysburg, on Route 34 north of Aspers, sits the site of a long-standing county fixture — The Rice Fruit Company. The busy apple processing plant is located amid a rural landscape surrounded by apple orchards. The Rice family first started packing fruit in 1913. “We can trace back eight generations that have been growing apples in Adams County,” said recently-retired Vice President John Rice. For the past decades the company has focused exclusively on processing apples for the fresh fruit market, and is now managed by the company’s 4th-generation: Ben Rice, Emily Rice-Townsend and Leighton Rice. The flat warehouse-like buildings spread out across the property and one could only guess what’s inside by observing the tractor-trailer loads of apple bins that appear with regularity during the mid-October fruit harvest. As each truck from a neighboring orchard pulls into the driveway its many fruit bins are scanned by an iPad, giving the buyers a general idea of what’s in each one. A few sample fruits are taken into the plant where they are pressure-tested to gauge the quality and ripeness of the crop. One by one the bins are moved Inside the first building, where each, containing about 20 bushels of fruit and weighing up to 1,000 pounds, is lowered into a pool of water. The apples float to the surface and their processing voyage through the plant begins. Water works magic for apple processing because apples transported via water are less likely to be bruised. The floating apples are pushed into a series of sluices where hi-tech machines do the work, processing up to 1,000 bushels per hour. Machines size the apples and inspect them for color and shape. Those too small or too damaged are sent away to become juice or sauce. Only the very best will be packed as fresh fruit. In the next building the interiors of the applies are inspected with infrared scanners and each is given a light coating of wax. Organic apples don’t get this treatment, but they don’t look as shiny to the customer and they dehydrate faster. Finally the small oval labels, each with a bar code, are pasted on the individual fruit. In the next stage the sorted, cleaned, and inspected fruit is packed into boxes which quick-operating robots stack onto pallets, laying each one into perfect Lego stacks, never missing a beat. The robotic stackers are manufactured in Spain. “They are pretty new for us, but it’s very hard to find people to stack boxes. It’s hard on their bodies,” said Rice. Rice said eight people who had originally stacked the boxes had transitioned into new jobs. “It took a long learning curve,” he said. Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brenda Briggs said the company had good retention of its 100 or so workers, but that other challenges from the pandemic had cropped up. “It’s hard to find the parts you might need,” she said. On the other side of the room, dozens of workers put the apples into clear plastic bags for sale in the produce section of stores. The bags are destined for Walmart, Whole Foods, and other retailers. The process ends when the pallets of crated apples are piled high into one of the 41 controlled storage rooms in other buildings. Here the apples are quickly cooled to 31 degrees Fahrenheit and sprayed with methylcyclopropene to aid in refrigeration. The doors to the rooms are sealed, and the oxygen is removed, leaving only nitrogen. Here the apples can stay in storage for up to a year, until the next crop is picked. “Refrigeration puts the apples to sleep but controlled storage puts them in a coma,” said fruit quality manager Leighton Rice. Coordination along the processing line among the 100 or so employees, mechanics, and supervisors is highly coordinated – an art form of sorts. “It takes everyone moving in the same direction. There’s a lot that can go wrong,” said Biggs. Rice Fruit packs about 7 million bushels of apples from over 40 local growers each year, as well as those from their own farms, which make up about 20 percent of the total. Each farmer’s apples are tracked individually through the processing stages and the farmers are paid by the quality of the product that is packed. Payments to the farmers directly track the price the company is able to charge the buyers. “The grower gets the net after we deduct our processing fees,” said Rice. Rice said more and more growers were producing apples to sell as fresh fruit which bring the highest prices. Rice said the popular Honeycrisp apples fetch the highest prices but are also the most difficult to grow. The company brands its apples as “Sweet Natured Fruit,” and many hands work hard to make them so.

Joyce Shutt Spreads Passion and Compassion [Episode 56]

It’s our pleasure to share with you this podcast with one of Adams County’s most popular and thoughtful figures, Joyce Shutt. Joyce has been a positive influence on the community for many years with her subtle sense of humor and her words of advice. Joyce is perhaps best known as having been called to be the pastor at the Fairfield Mennonite Church, but she is also a prolific writer and blogger. If you don’t know her, I think you’re in for a pleasant surprise. In this episode, Joyce talks about her personal experiences, her relationships with people, her role as a pastor, her work with the 12-step program, and how she asks the most important questions in life about emotions, tolerance, gratitude, and compassion. You can find Joyce at StepsToHope.net. Our podcasts are always free, but we could use your support to keep them coming. Our memberships start at just $4.99 per month, about the price of a cup of coffee at one of our local coffee shops.  It takes 5 minutes to become a Gettysburg Connection member.  Would you help out? Please, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Musical Introduction by Thane Pittman.

Small restaurant Tacos Monarca brings big flavors to Gettysburg

On the corner of West Railroad and Carlisle Streets in Gettysburg, where Subway once operated, there is now a small Mexican restaurant. The restaurant is named Tacos Monarcas after the monarch butterflies that migrate from Canada to the Oyamel forests in Michoacan, Mexico. Michoacan is the home state of owners Jimena and Louis Gonzalez. From food to atmosphere, Tacos Monarca is deeply influenced by Mexico. “Our goal is to bring the same flavors from Mexico to here,” said Jimena, and that is why their restaurant is detailed with everything Mexico. The restaurant’s decor is based on tastes and designs commonly found within the owners’ hometown. Gonzalez has commissioned a personal painting by her cousins on one of the restaurant’s walls. The painting depicts a man holding a mask of an old person’s face while carrying a basket of avocados. Gonzalez explained how this piece is actually about a traditional dance. “Traditionally the dancers would wear masks that look like old men and women while wearing wooden shoes that would create lots of noise when stepping,” she said. The dance is called “danza de los viejitos” (the dance of old men). It is a traditional folk dance found exclusively in Michoacan. Their recipes are authentic Mexican food you can easily find all around Mexico. It is common in many Mexican restaurants in the U.S. to change traditional recipes to cater to the people who live here. In the process, the original recipe turns into an entirely different dish. So when people order something like a taco, they don’t get an authentic one. Jimena and Louis take pride in their food and culture. They enjoy the idea of sharing their love for their culture and food with others. Their love for their traditional food pushes them to only serve authentic dishes that are not altered from their original recipes. Their home-made sauces make the recipes uniquely theirs, but they keep the recipes as close to the original as possible. Jimena said she was worried about opening a restaurant during the pandemic, a time when many restaurants were closing. But Tacos Monarca has only seen consistent sales since opening. Jimena attributes her success to her customers’ dedication. While there are regulars from town who often either dine in or order take-out, some customers travel far lengths in order to eat their dishes. Jimena said they often have customers who travel from up to two hours away just to get a bite of their delicious authentic food. The Gonzalez are long-time residents of Gettysburg, and have always had a deep desire to open a business here. “It was a surprise,” said Jimena. “We were thinking about it, but not really looking for a place to buy or rent yet. Then somebody told us about this place. I talked with the owner and they said yes, because I used to work here at Subway like eight years ago.” The coincidence almost seemed like fate to the couple. They decided that instead of waiting any longer they would take the chance. “I told my husband I want to be in business, not only with a restaurant,” said Jimena. She is interested in expanding their business, not only to different cities, but to open other stores here in Gettysburg as well. The Gonzalez have big aspirations, but for now they are focused on cementing their restaurant here in Gettysburg. Jimena’s sister, Edith Garcia, clearly believes in her sister’s dream and dedication, as she took a gap year off of school in order to help Tacos Monarca get started. Garcia is currently a college student, attending a school in Mexico. Though she does not go to a culinary arts school, it has always been an aspiration of hers to be part of a professional kitchen. She will most likely return to school soon, but Jimena said there will always be a spot waiting at Tacos Monarca if she chooses to return. Tacos Monarca also offers pizzas and sandwiches. Eat-in, pick up, or get delivery. You can find Tacos Monarca at 11 W. Railroad St. in Gettysburg.

Farming in the Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg has been a hub for agriculture even before it was on the map. Fertile soil and a temperate climate attracted hard-working settlers willing to live off the land. But the quiet rural life was suddenly jeopardized as soldiers marched into town in late June 1863. When it became clear that a bloody battle loomed, farmers fled town or hunkered down. Those who returned found their homes burned and their crops trampled. Luckily, the story of farming in Gettysburg does not end there. As the land around Gettysburg transformed into a National Military Park, so too did the farms that suffered such an unfortunate fate. The National Park Service now ensures that visitors experience the well-known Spangler, Trostle, and Rose farms as they were at the time of the battle. What is less known to many people is that about 2,000 acres in the battlefield still operate as active farms. The Park Service calls it the agriculture program, or “ag program” for short. This program allows farmers to rent land from the park to grow their crops or raise their cattle. The farmers save the Park Service time and money by maintaining the area as an open landscape. Without the farmers, the Park Service would dedicate more resources to mowing fields and setting prescribed fires. “It’s a continual struggle to keep it in an open condition,” says Zach Bolitho, Chief of Resource Management for Gettysburg National Military Park. How It Works Before each growing season, the Park Service publishes an advertisement indicating that land is available for rent. Interested candidates then complete an application for a special use permit. Park rangers review the applications to determine who would partner well with the park. There are 15 pre-determined parcels of land for rent each year, with returning permit holders and new candidates alike applying for them. Once selected, the farmers pay their rental fees. Row crop and hay farmers pay a rate per acre while cattle and horse owners pay a rate per animal. All of the farmers must adhere to the park’s guidelines and restrictions. This includes asking permission to use certain herbicides and only mowing their property at designated times. What the farmers do with their crops is their choice. The Gettysburg Foundation, which leases the apple orchard next to the Spangler Farm, turns their apples into hard cider. Its partner, Good Intent Cider Company, makes and sells the cider while giving a portion of the proceeds back to the Foundation. Leftover apples are donated to community organizations, such as South Central Community Action Programs (SCAAP). Not all crops in the battlefield are part of the ag program. The Park Service currently manages 180 acres of orchards in the park, including the peach orchard. This might soon change, however, as the Park Service is looking to lease those parcels as well. While it is also true that there are private holdings in the park, they are small in size. Conservation Recreating history is not the only goal when it comes to land management in the park. “We could get really purist about things, but we’re not,” says Bolitho. The Park Service also views the battlefields as habitats worthy of conservation. Instead of abiding by old property blueprints, the Park Service evaluates what is sustainable for the landscape. For example, the Park Service grows soybeans because it puts nutrients into the soil, not because it was grown during the battle. Seasonal grasses grow to resemble crops but mainly serve as breeding grounds for grasslands nesting birds. This could be the last summer for cattle in the park due to water quality and sedimentation concerns. Farming is just one method of conservation in the battlefields. The Park Service also manages forest monitoring plots to study the evolving composition of the forest. Rangers take monthly water samples for a water quality index as per National Park Service guidelines. A new habitat rehabilitation project will help reintroduce the regal fritillary butterfly to the area. All conservation projects follow the park’s General Management Plan. It doesn’t take a public lands expert to appreciate the rural beauty of the battlefields. Still, knowing the intricacies of what goes on in the Park can help us appreciate it that much more.

Adams County Adult Correctional Complex avoids COVID cases, moves forward with its mission

Despite being home to over 200 prisoners, the Adams County Adult Correctional Complex (ACACC) has not had a single case of transmitted COVID cases in the prison. That’s is a remarkable achievement, and a testament to the work of its staff, given many similar facilities have suffered major outbreaks requiring forced lockdowns. The facility, located at 45 Major Bell Lane in Gettysburg, is charged with protecting and serving the residents of Adams County by providing progressive, comprehensive correctional and rehabilitative services to the inmate population. Warden Katy Hileman said that although the prison population has grown steadily since it opened in 2003, there was a reduction in numbers last year due to policies designed to mitigate the negative effects of COVID by reducing the number of prisoners. Most of the released prisoners were assigned to electronic monitoring in their homes.  “It was a mitigation effort. To keep people safe, some non-violent offenders were released to house arrest.” she said. Hileman said those released during COVID were primarily elderly inmates who were more vulnerable and who require more treatment.  Hileman said the county and the prison board worked with her, the courts, the county commissioners, and law enforcement to develop the mitigation policies. “Without cooperation, we wouldn’t have been as successful. The prison board played a huge role in that,” said County Solicitor Molly Mudd. One important change over the past year was the cancellation of all work release programs. “Reentry was closed because it was the largest risk to the public,” said Mudd.  Mudd said that there was no transmission of COVID due to implementing “the highest level COVID protocols” and the work of the warden. “She’s held up as an example of how this was done.” The prison did have 5 prisoners who tested positive for COVID – but they were all transfers from other facilities and they did not spread the virus inside the prison.  “We focused on making the right decisions by taking advantage of protective measures to keep people safe,” said Hileman. Acknowledging the situation was still in flux, Hileman said “We’re not quite back to the normal that everybody would like to be.  It’s very dangerous.  All it takes is one case and it’s wildfire. We had started planning before things really started. We are research and data driven.  We were paying attention to what was working and wasn’t. I still feel lucky.  We really focused on making the best decisions we could.” “We never had a lockdown. We never had reduced congregation or time outside. We tried to balance mental health and well-being with protective measures. It all worked. The prisoners had a little bit of losses, but some facilities had 23 hour per day lockdowns.” About The Prison The facility is administered jointly by Hileman, two deputy wardens, two captains, as well as a director of business operations, a director of treatment services, and about 110 staff members.  A total of 137 positions have been approved for the prison. The facility is overseen by the 7-member prison board composed of the County Commissioners, the President Judge or designee, and the District Attorney, Sheriff, and Controller. Meetings of the prison board are held online monthly and are open to the public. Financially, the prison represents the largest slice of the county budget, coming in at about $14 million annually. “We’re trending a bit under this year, but historically costs have increased,” said County Manager Steve Nevada. Saying the ACACC has 449 beds and houses both male and female inmates, Hileman said “the mission of the prison is to protect and serve the community with well-managed and effective programming, security, and best practices. We all care about the facility and the county very much.” Hileman said the daily average number of prisoners is about 220, and the typical stay ranges from 38 to 65 days. Hileman said the prison holds a variety of people including those waiting for bail hearings, those who have been sentenced to 1 to 2 year terms, and about 35-40 prisoners who are being held for U.S. Marshalls. Typical charges include failure to pay fines or costs, contempt cases, as well as DUI and drug-related offenses. Hileman said prisoners are assigned to either minimum, medium, or maximum security procedures depending on their current and past charges, predicted propensity for violence, and where else they are wanted. Hileman said all prisoners have access to the same programs, including mental health care. Monitoring and Auditing The prison undergoes regular annual or bi-annual audits by the PA Department of Corrections, a Prison Rape Elimination Act audit every three years, a National Commission on Correctional Health Care medical review every three years, and a review by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care every three years. Because the facility has an agreement with the United States Department of Justice to house federal detainees in the custody of the US Marshall Service, an annual review is conducted by the US Department of Justice. The County Controller’s office also conducts an annual audit using an independently elected controller.  Hileman said the prison had passed each of these audits and reviews. Staffing The prison, like all state and county prisons, has difficulties recruiting and retaining staff. “Recruiting and retaining staff is difficult in any conditions. Rarely do people grow up and say they want to be in corrections. It often provides a place for people to get training while they are going to school,” said Hileman. “It’s not an easy career. It can be difficult for new employees to adjust,” she said. Like most other businesses, the prison is receiving fewer applicants and increases in the number of applicants who drop out during the pre-hire process. Nevada said that many people who apply and go through the onboarding do not pass the screening process to become official employees. “There is a nationwide shortage of correctional officers at the state and local level,” said Mudd. Hileman said that staffing remained stable during the height of the pandemic. “Once the world started to reopen, there were several staff who left their employment, for a variety of reasons, which has led to an increased use of overtime to cover vacancies,” she said. “We have enough staff now for the number of inmates we’re holding. We’re able to maintain and adequately handle our populations,” said Hileman, but added that the prison required both mandatory and voluntary overtime from its employees. “The prison board is working with the numbers. Our average daily hold is low. By Order of the Court, re-entry is closed, and some non-violent offenders have been released on house arrest.  With fewer inmates, the facility can be safely operated with a smaller contingent of staff.  But, the county is putting many resources into recruiting and hiring correctional officers at this time, and will continue to do so until the facility is fully staffed,” said Mudd. Hileman said the prison was working to increase its recruiting, including advertising using billboards around the area. “Corrections is a challenging profession. Parents of young children are not going to consider becoming a correctional officer at this time because of the potential risk of transmitting COVID to their young children. We’re in the same boat as almost every other county,” said Mudd.

The Black Influence – Series 3 – Gettysburg’s Underground Railroad

Black History in Adams County cannot be complete without paying respect to the escaped slaves that followed the Underground Railroad (UGRR) through Adams County. The National Park Service describes the UGRR by saying: “Beginning in the 17th century and continuing through the mid-19th century in the United States, enslaved African Americans resisted bondage to gain their freedom through acts of self-emancipation. The individuals who sought this freedom from enslavement, known as freedom seekers, and those who assisted along the way, united together to become what is known as the Underground Railroad.” Underground Railroad (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) Freedom seekers in the south often headed north aiming for Philadelphia or even Canada. It is speculated that thousands of freedom seekers found themselves traveling through Adams County on their treacherous journey to freedom. Due to the Fugitive Slave Law enacted in the 1790s it was illegal to hide escaped slaves. The punishment increased in the 1850’s, becoming punishable by jail time and a $1,000 fine (that’s comparable to over $34,200 today). Regardless, there were over 680 Underground Railroad stops that have been historically confirmed, four of which are in Adams County. The first location is the McAllister’s Mill in Cumberland Township. The Mill is on the western border of Mt. Joy Township. It sits on private property (available by tour on Saturdays through August UGRR Site at McAllister’s Mill (hgaconline.org) and located behind the old Mulligan MacDuffers Adventure Golf. The McAllister Mill has a full circle relation to Black History. On July 4, 1836, the first abolitionist meeting was held at the McAllister Mill. The group formed the Adams County Anti-Slavery Society. Then the Mill became a hiding place for freedom seekers. “How ironic that less than two decades later the First Blood of the Battle of Gettysburg and the war over slavery, would be on his [the McAllister] farm”, says historian Debra Sandoe McCauslin, an ancestor of private George Sandoe, who was the first Union soldier to die at Gettysburg. At the McAllister’s Mill, the escaped slaves hid in the cog pit, a dirt rut under the basement of the mill. Conditions were not inviting. The area could be wet, hot and humid, or cold at night. Other areas to hide were in tiny caves along the creek. Regardless of cramped quarters or atmosphere, the freedom seekers hid. The Adams County Anti-Slavery Society appeared not to have Black members; however, the St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church of Gettysburg started the Slave’s Refuge Society. Although the church is not historically confirmed as a stop on the UGRR, it was noted that they tasked themselves to assist fellow African Americans seeking freedom. Leaving the McAllister Mill, freedom seekers would head north to the next UGRR stop, which might have been to meet Edward and Annie Mathews on Yellow Hill. Yellow Hill was located nine miles north of Gettysburg. The Mathews were African American and Yellow Hill was home to hundreds of African Americans from the 1700s to the 1920s. It is possible other Black families assisted in the UGRR but their involvement is not known due to lack of written evidence. The Mathews would have taken the freedom seekers to the home of Cyrus and Mary Ann Griest, the third Adams County UGRR site. In the 1930s, Alexander W. Griest, predecessor to Cryrus Griest, shared a memory during an interview, “In the middle of the night, Mathews took them [the escaped slaves] to the home of Cyrus Griest and hid them in the springhouse. Mathews then tapped on the Griest’s bedroom window to let him know that he had guests … The women would feed the freedom seekers in the morning.” He remembered this happening about twice a month in the summer but never in the winter. Other freedom seekers would go to the home of William and Phebe Wright, Quakers from York Springs, which is the fourth historically proven UGRR in Adams County. This was the fourth stop on the UGRR in Adams County. The Wrights aided hundreds of escaped slaves to safety. The most well known is James W. C. Pennington. He went on to become a minister, writer, and abolitionist.    Pennington stayed in Adams County with the Wrights from Autumn of 1828 to April 1829. He learned to read, write, and cipher, a method to transform writing to hide a message in code. Pennington helped on the Wrights farm for six month then returned on his journey to freedom after the winter ended. Pennington’s documented story helps carve history to understand the route that many freedom seekers used. Like Pennington, the Black people escaping slavery would head out of Adams County and closer to their destination to freedom. This article was peer reviewed for accuracy by Andrew Dalton, historian, of the Adams County Historical Society and Debra Sandoe McCauslin, local researcher and historian. References Dorsey Myers, Betty. (2018). Progression of Education for Black Citizens of Gettysburg. Historic Gettysburg-Adams County, Inc. (2021). UGRR Site at McAllister’s Mill (hgaconline.org) American History & Genealogy Project. (Feb. 2016). Maryland American History and Genealogy Project (genealogyvillage.com) McClure, Jim. (July 2013). Gettysburg-area Underground Railroad landmark: ‘McAllister’s Mill involves the whole fabric of history’ – York Town Square (yorkblog.com) McAlister, Lynn. (July 2015). McAllister’s Mill | Today in Macalister History Sandoe, Debra. (2007). Reconstructing the Past: Puzzle of the Lost Community at Yellow Hill. Slavery and the Underground Railroad in South Central Pennsylvania. (Jan. 2017). https://archive.org/details/CSPAN2_20170122_160300_Slavery_and_the_Underground_Railroad_in_South_Central_Pennsylvania#:~:text=story%20and%20a%20staircase%20outside%20for%20easy%20estates,the%20meantime%2C%20slaves%20arrived%20and%%20caught20them%20 Wingret, Cooper H. (2018). Abolitionists of South Central Pennsylvania.

Gettysburg Pride celebrates fifth annual community celebration of love [with slideshow]

Gettysburg Pride celebrated love and equity Saturday with a day of festivities for the entire community. The event was part of the annual pride weekend, which ran from Friday through Sunday. Orchestrated by Gettysburg Community Theater’s Executive Director Chad-Alan Carr, Lincoln Square transformed into an inclusive community wide celebration with vendors, entertainment, educational resources, and more. Saying the event was getting bigger every year, Carr added “Gettysburg Pride is always the weekend after Memorial Day, but we feel pride here year-round.” Family First Health was on site to offer free rapid HIV testing and single doses of the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. A “Free Mom Hugs” booth shone as a beacon of assurance and welcomed anyone looking for validation. “I so glad we can do this again,” exclaimed volunteer Robin Koons as she pulled a new friend in for a mama bear squeeze. “Pride means feeling like you fit in and are accepted and don’t have anything to hide. In Gettysburg I can say I have a transgender father and it’s great,” volunteer Sarah Pearce said. Far too often, LGBT teenagers can find themselves disowned after coming out to their biological parents and can face a detrimental spiral to follow, according to Koons. ”We try to fill in the gaps and try to be supportive,” she said. As the summer evening closed in, ensembles of drag queens took to the stage with singing and audience improvisation. An ice cream social provided much needed relief from the June heat with a refreshing rainbow array of Popsicles at the Unitarian Universalist Gettysburg Church booth. Hundreds gathered for Gettysburg Pride’s pièce de résistance: an afternoon parade that saw a sea of rainbows and diversity flow through the borough. The march procession concluded at the Gettysburg Borough Municipal Building “In appreciation of the borough council who unanimously passed the nondiscriminatory ordinance in December 2020,” Carr said. Former Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress Jason Landau Goodman applauded the community turnout including staunch support from small businesses and local government. As local municipality ordinances set the bar for the state to follow regarding citizen equity, “Gettysburg and other small-town communities are the front lines of LGBT communities,” he said. Landau Goodman said discussion about the issue has met with supportive legislators, “but it’s the politics that sometimes holds folks back,” he said. “It’s not a debate, it’s real life, and most people have woken up to that,” he said. “The laws and policies can seem abstract, but when you see the real impact of the work that we are a part of, it means the world to know how much an ordinance can mean to someone.” A final headcount of marchers set the bar for future Gettysburg Pride events and parades. “In 2019 we stopped counting at 400 people, this year we stopped counting at 505 and not everyone who was here marched,” he said. Carr proclaimed appreciation for the community who makes up Gettysburg Pride and their ability to come together for a time of camaraderie and hope. “Gettysburg is a place for love and equality. Hate is taught, love is natural,” Carr said. Click on any image to start the slideshow

Vaccine Information Update

This is an update about the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations in Adams County as of today, April 12, 2021.  As of tomorrow, the state has opened vaccine eligibility to all adults. This does not mean that you will get a vaccine immediately– but you can get on a list to get one. There is still a limited supply of vaccines. One way to get on a list for a vaccine is to create an account at Wellspan using the my.wellspan.org portal.  You do not need to be a Wellspan patient. At this time Wellspan is not making new appointments but that could change at any time as it begins mass vaccination programs over the next weeks. Although the Adams-Cumberland Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines, their supply is limited.  Send an email to bgobin@careoptionsrx.com to get on a list for their vaccines.  You may also call for information at 717-486-8606 You may also call the PA Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258. Click here for a list of local vaccine providers. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the state rollout. Click here for information about vaccine safety.

Democratic Gettysburg Mayoral Primary Candidates Share Their Positions

The 3 Democratic candidates for Gettysburg Mayor, who will be running against each other in the the May 18 primary — Chad Alan Carr, Kierstan MaryBelle Demps, and Rita Frealing — expressed their views in an online question and answer session hosted by Gettysburg Rising last night. The Republican candidate, Thomas Carr, who is running unopposed, was invited but did not respond to the invitation. The meeting, during in which all three candidates were cordial and supportive of each other, was hosted by Gettysburg Rising coordinator Jenny Dumont.  “This is an exciting time with so many people running for mayor,” she said. I’m the best person to facilitate the healing the borough needs,” said Gettysburg Native Demps. “I would like to work with council to help make Gettysburg feel a little bit more like home again.” Demps said she would be available “to help anybody who may need help” and that she would be “someone the borough can listen to and talk with.”  Demps said she has had a career in the mental health field and is currently studying psychology and criminology. An important goal for her was to “create a better relationship with our police department” and “to get back on track. I’m committed enough to be able to do this job,” she said. Candidate Chad Alan Carr said he moved to the region from Texas in 2006 and to Gettysburg in 2009. Carr is the Founding Executive Director of the Gettysburg Community Theatre. Carr noted his work with special needs students at Gettysburg High School and with the local LGBT advocacy group Gettysburg Pride. “Education and awareness and inclusiveness are very important to me,” said Carr. Carr said he was running “to bring people together.  I want to get our voters informed.  Many residents are not registered to vote. I want to get people involved. We have to include everyone in the process of local government,” he said. Frealing said she had studied law at Penn State University and had spent over 20 years in government as a public servant.  She has worked as a news reporter, as Deputy Press Secretary in the office of Sen. Bob Casey, and was Director of Government Relations for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. “The best way to find answers is to listen, learn, and let people talk.  Then you bring consensus and collaboration and move forward. Were all in this together and everyone has a voice that needs to be heard,” said Frealing. Carr said the three most important issues facing the borough were communication, inclusion, and public safety.  “We have to talk to each other.  We have to get together and find common ground. There are so many people in our town who don’t understand how local government works,” he said. Carr said he wanted to help get more people to attend council meetings and to vote. In terms of public safety, Carr said he understood members of the Gettysburg Police Department go through a “certain amount” of human relations training but that he would like to see additional training on those topics. Saying he understood the cost of this training, he pledged if elected to give his $5,000 annual salary to police training. Frealing focused on the effects of the pandemic and inclusion, saying COVID was affecting community safety and local businesses.  “It’s going to be a different strategy to run a campaign and keep the community safe,” she said. Saying she wanted to support the Gettysburg Police Department, Frealing noted “they are here to protect and serve. I admire our police department.”  Frealing also said speeding in the borough was a problem. “People just speed through the borough. They’re not going 25 miles per hour.”  Frealing said she would use her mayoral salary to make contributions to the borough. Demps said her primary focuses were on family, community, and history. “My priority as the mayor is to keep the community first and stay family focused.  Our community is made up of families. It’s very important to know where we can receive help and receive the trust about what is happening in our local government.” Demps said the opioid crisis was having a negative effect on the community and highlighted efforts to address that issue including the annual “Black Balloon Day” event. “Gettysburg is a beautiful, wonderful place. We can continue to be better and do better.  We need a leader who will lead that charge,” said Demps.  “I hope and pray we can continue to work together to do what needs to be done.” When asked how they would respond if they found themselves disagreeing with police policy all three candidates said the first response would be to increase communication. “You have make sure all groups are treated equally.  We saw people riding across our community with guns across them.  It’s not our peaceful community anymore,” said Frealing. “I want to serve as an ambassador to the police department and the council. I love this town. It made me who I am and I’d like to give back to it and serve,” she said. “The mayor is the voice of the people. The mayor’s job is to find common ground between the residents and the police department,” said Demps. “It’s important to continue to celebrate our history and solve our community’s problems. We need to have better relationships with our police department.”  Carr read a sentence from the police department website: “The police are the public and the public are the police.” Carr said if elected he planned to create a task force to address police-community relations. He hoped the committee would have council members, the borough manager, the mayor, the chief of police, and 2 or 3 members of the community with skills in mediation and community health. Responding to a question about the Gettysburg’s African American community, Demps said “The black community is very vulnerable right now.  We’re often seen but not heard.”  She asked members of the black community to be proactive, reaching out to community leaders and collaborating with other people within and outside of the black community. Alan said he was looking forward to the Juneteenth celebration in the Gettysburg rec park on June 19. “We owe everything to black trans women. The LGBT community owes them so much,” he said. Noting the extensive and rich history of African Americans in in Gettysburg, Frealing talked about a history teacher who had made a difference in her life. Frealing said she grew up in a time when this area wasn’t inclusive and said she would be “open to all people.”  

Mt. Joy Solar Hearing Wrapping Up after a Year of Meetings

Mt. Joy Township Supervisors and attorneys for NextEra Energy and local residents who opposed the project have ended the 80 or so hours of evidentiary hearings they have participated in over the past year to discuss the merits of NextEra’s proposed solar array project that would cover hundreds of acres in the township. Thousands of documents, dozens of witnesses, and hundreds of comments from local residents have been part of the 20 or so meetings that have been held since January 2020. The many hours of testimony, conducted in a small room with some in-person participants and many others connecting remotely, considered a wide variety of issues relating to the project and the goals of homeowners and the township, and ranged from outright hostility to moments of levity and comraderie. As the testimony closed NextEra lawyers praised the supervisors and solicitor Susan Smith for their time, saying they felt the hearings had been through, fair, and civil. Evidence from the “quasi-judicial” proceeding will be the only evidence the township supervisors will use as they decide whether to allow the large 75 megawatt solar panel array across 19  properties. In the Baltimore Pike Corridor Zoning Area installation of the panels is subject to “conditional” zoning, which means the township must determine whether or not to allow them. NextEra Energy has contracted with the landowners to lease their land for 30 years, allowing them to install panels on it. Homeowners argue they should have the freedom to put the panels on their property, whereas the adjacent homeowners argue the panels will devalue their properties and cause other harm to the county. At the most recent meeting NextEra said efficiency gains and design changes had allowed it to substantially reduce the size of the arrays to 450 acres or less – much smaller than the footprint they had initially proposed. Because there is space between the panels the total acreage covered by panels is about 180 acres. NextEra said it had taken the concerns of the affected neighbors into consideration in its redesign by moving panels away from properties where people had expressed concerns. NextEra said they were trying to design a facility that is “fits with the land.”  NextEra pledged to continue working with the public to design a facility “which we can all be proud of.” NextEra said they had reduced the amount of trees that would need to be cleared to less than three acres, and offered to increase their security bond, which would ensure the site could be cleaned up when the project was decommissioned, from $20,000 to $500,000. NextEra said the solar panels could be surrounded by fences that are 7 rather than 8 feet high if the township would allow that and that 26 miles of landscape buffers including pollinator plantings would be created. Hundreds of residents who have properties nearby the proposed project have expressed concerns, including potential dangers to wildlife and endangered species, potential dust created by the project, stormwater runoff and ground water safety, hurricane risks, safety concerns with transmission lines and toxins, glare from the panels, and traffic congestion. Saying the fences would cause problems for the resident deer population and expressing concerns about groundwater contamination and a negative impact on the character of the neighborhood, adjacent landowner Scott Sanders said hundreds of people in the township opposed the project. “It sounds like a bad movie where the victim comes in the middle of the night. People thought our properties were protected. This is a decision that will impact us for generations to come. This is a ticking time bomb,” he said. A NextEra expert witness said permits had been acquired assuring the project posed no danger to threatened species or to wetlands.  A small gap under the fencing would allow small mammals to move through the fenced-off areas. A major question has concerned the potential decrease in home values as a result of the installation and experts on both sides of the controversy, coming to different conclusions, were called to testify. Landowner Clayton Wood said his family had farmed his property for over four generations but that it had become impossible to keep the farm going. Wood said the price of milk had dropped and traffic had increased in the area making farming dangerous. Woods said he considered lots of options to keep the farm, including offers from the solar industry, and had considered the issue carefully before making a decision to sign with NextEra. Wood said it was a way to maintain ownership and pass the land to his children. Wood said he believed the land would be developed for some other use going forward. “It’s probably not going to be used for farming forever. This is what works for us,” said Wood. Other uses already permitted by right in the Baltimore Corridor include car washes, single and two family dwellings, golf courses, group homes, nursing homes, churches, and trade schools. Wood said advantage of solar was that after the project was over the land could again be used for farming whereas other types of development would be unlikely to allow that.   The next meeting, to be held on March 24, will be for public comments. The meeting will be conducted remotely due to court-ordered restrictions. Residents or property owners of Mt. Joy who wish to make public comment can sign up to do so by visiting the township website. In the next phase each of the parties will submit memorandums to the Board. After reviewing the submitted documents the board will make a decision to grant, grant with conditions, or deny the application. If the project is approved NextEra said it would likely start construction next year and that full operation is scheduled for late 2023.

2021 Adams County PA Municipal Election Information

2021 Adams County PA Municipal Election Information The Connection reports on local candidates and voting procedures for municipal, state, and federal elections. Oct 18: Last day to register before the November election Oct 26: Last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot Nov. 2: Last day to receive mail-in and civilian absentee ballots (must be received by 8:00 p.m.) Mail-in ballots may also be returned using the drop box at the county courthouse between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, please see the Adams County Election Office resources page. Member of Democratic State Committee Member of Republican State Committee County Democratic Committee Members More information on the Gettysburg Area School District candidates. Wondering about the state races? Here is a full rundown. View All Local Municipal Election Candidates Candidate Profiles Crissy Redding Republican Treasurer *Adams County What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I am looking forward to continuing to move the Treasurer’s office forward in a positive direction with integrity, honesty, transparency and a high level of customer service – I believe courteous, efficient customer service is essential – providing a pleasant experience to anyone who either calls or visits the office. I am excited about the many ideas I have in moving the practices of the office forward – such as initiating a “Online Dog Licensing Program” – this has been an initiative of mine since taking office in 2018 and am hoping 2021 is the year the Treasurer’s office launches the availability of online licensing – I am reviewing the options of electronic payments for/by residents and vendors to improve convenience and efficiency – moving the office in the direction of less paper and more of a digital approach is high on my agenda. I am looking forward to continuing to work extensively with other county departments, county leadership and community organizations with the intention of delivering dignified and respectful service with the highest standard of integrity and accuracy in the most professional of manners. I believe I have proven fiscal and clerical accountability and that my previous employment experiences prior to taking office in 2018 – combined with the information and experiences garnered on the job during my first term are the needed foundation and platform in which to move the office forward. I will continue to dovetail my knowledge, resources and experiences from one side of the counter to the other – pledging a Team Effort – in serving the residents of Adams County in a professional, trustworthy, responsible and dedicated manner – with the personal benefit of giving back to my native Adams County of which I have deep roots and an incredible appreciation of. I am more than happy to speak with anyone regarding my campaign platform or any treasurer’s issues that wish to discuss. I am very honored the voters of Adams County chose to elect me in 2018 and request their generous support in May – in order that I can continue to pridefully and respectfully serve and represent the residents of Adams County. My prior experience I am seeking re-election as the Adams County Treasurer – prior to taking office in 2018 I pridefully worked 35+ years with the family business “Redding Auction Service” and respectfully served as the Straban Township Tax Collector for 10-years – these career opportunities offered me the platform in which to obtain fiscal and clerical accountability, responsibility to accuracy and attention to detail – all of which are fundamental tools of foundation for this position. In my first term as Treasurer I am most proud of several significant achievements inclusive to the recently formed collaborative Government Finance Team consisting of the Treasurer, Finance Dept., Controller and County manager – together we have worked diligently in enhancing defined cash receipting, streamlined account structures that enhance the county budget process, monitored interest rates and transferred funds into investment opportunities to improve returns, improving Pillow Tax accountability and collection – in addition to working with the 34 borough and township tax collectors with collection of real estate and per-capita taxes. I am honored to report that the County is financially healthy with a A2+ rating with much of the credit going to the collaborative efforts of the Finance Government Team, the conservative efforts of all County departments and County leadership. Success Truly Is A Joint Effort ! The Treasurer’s office is a very complex office and has many moving parts which are instrumental to every department within the County – hence maintaining excellent customer service from one side of the counter to the other is a foremost priority in keeping the work-flow moving forward in a smooth manner – with respect and positive communication – these are very important functions in the office and to the team members. My first term has passed by very quickly and has been most rewarding as I proudly and respectfully represent all residents of Adams County – I have a very strong and conscientious work ethic that was instilled in me at a very young age by my parents – my fundamental belief is that “you work from you heart, you do not stop until the work is done and you do more than what was expected of you”. I am very proud to have become part of a wonderful team of county colleagues who work very hard in a unified manner to do the very best that they can for all of Adams County. Anne Smith Republican Inspector of Elections *Adams County What I will do to make a difference for my constituents This helps to qualify me for the office of “Inspector of Elections” to maintain a fair and responsible election. Thank you in advance for your vote in Adams County. My prior experience I was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and raised in Taneytown, Maryland. For 10 years, I owned and operated a restaurant, “The Skillet and Oven” in New Freedom, Pennsylvania. I sold the restaurant and moved to Vermont where I resided for 10 years. While in Vermont, I held the elected office of Justice of the Peace. My office required commitment, procedure and fairness. Some responsibilities included: Election duties: reviewing voter checklist applications, removing names from the voter checklist and conducting elections. Other duties included: property tax appeals, Board of Abatement, solemnizing marriages, administering oaths and performing notarial acts. Sarah Bucher Republican Inspector of Elections Bendersville Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I enjoy serving my community with integrity and professionalism. My prior experience Many years of experience on prior elections. Stefanie Sarine Republican Inspector of Elections Berwick Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I have strong conservative values and I will work for my constituents here in Berwick Township. After the 2020 election, I find it important for me to get involved in the election process here in Pennsylvania. Election integrity is vitally important in preserving our Constitutional Republic! I am thankful for this opportunity! My prior experience I am a mother, local business owner and looking to get involved in government on a local level. Peter Socks Republican Supervisor Berwick Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I will continue to serve my constituents as I have the past two terms. With a vision to maintain the rural feel of our community while handling growth in a smart manner that does not impact our community negatively. My goal has always been and will continue to be to make our township and surrounding areas here in Adams County a safe and peaceful area for our children and grandchildren to call home. My prior experience I am seeking my third term as Berwick Township Supervisor. A life-long resident of Adams County I have lived in Berwick Township for 25 years. Phil Wagner Republican Mayor Biglerville Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I will be completing 2 years as mayor this January. I will continue to be a voice for our borough residents, expand our Christmas decorations in the town, work with council retaining businesses and get our vacant buildings inhabited. One of my responsibilities is to continue to work with the great police force we have. Keep our community informed through the Borough Facebook page. Planning a community wide yard sale June 5th, 2021! My prior experience A Gettysburg College graduate, and MBA from Syracuse University. 27 year Army veteran, 17 years fruit grower in New York state, where I was councilman, town of Butler, VP of local school Board, president of Wayne County Farm Bureau, Board member of New York Apple Association and Cornell Extension program. Currently member of Legislative committee for Adams County Council of Governments, member, Biglerville Water and Sewer Authority, Treasurer, Upper Adams Lions Club, Logistics Coordinator for the Upper Adams Food Pantry, trustee, Centenary United Methodist church, member, Post #262American Legion, member, Biglerville Historical Preservation Society Robert Verderaime Republican Borough Council Carroll Valley Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents My Goal and Promise I.   a. To preserve the beauty, rural atmosphere, and the pristine character of Carroll Valley. b. That my vote on any issue coming before council will be cast only after listening to all views and voting only on what would be the best result for all residents. c. On all substantive matters, to explain the reasons for my vote allowing you, my constituent, to know the reason for my position. Thank you for considering me as your representative. Robert C. Verderaime My prior experience I am a Republican candidate for re-election to the Carroll Valley Borough Council. I seek your vote and offer the following for your consideration and for comparison to other candidates. Experience (Political) I.   a. Previously served for several years on the Carroll Valley Planning Commission. b. Elected to Borough Council at last election and selected as its vice-president by vote of the council. Experience (qther} II.   a. Served on various committees at the national, state (MD) and local (Baltimore) levels, and as President of a local Bar (legal) Association and as Chairman on several committees. b. President of PTA Ill.   Education a.   Undergraduate degree from Loyola College b.   Law degree from University of Maryland IV.   Employment a.   Prior to retirement I was self-employed in my own law firm in Baltimore. V.   Personal a.   Resident of Carroll Valley for thirteen years. b.   Married (Helene, Spouse) c.   Parishioner, St. Mary’s Catholic Church Having been on both the planning commission and council has given me knowledge of the issues affecting Carroll Valley. I have gained invaluable insights into matters such as zoning, budgets, concerns of residents, law enforcement, and similar subjects. What I have brought to the commission and council from the experiences listed above is to listen to the views of others; to consider the pros and cons on the issues presented and to reach a conclusion most beneficial to all residents of Carroll Valley. Indeed, I have voted in the minortty if I did not believe so. Lisa McKinney Republican Judge of Elections Carroll Valley Borough Ward 1 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I will continue stress free environment at the Carroll Valley 1 election room location. My prior experience I have been Carroll Valley’s 1 Judge of Election for the past four years. I’m a Retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer and serve 24 years of service in U.S. Navy. At the moment, I’m working on my Doctoral Program with Walden University and working on my Dissertation today. I have three degrees with Park University (Associate Degree under Business Management and Bachelor Degree under Criminal Justice) and American Military University (Master’s Degree under Criminal Justice). Christine Biggins Republican Supervisor Cumberland Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents As a resident of Cumberland Township, I recognize the balance that needs to be maintained between agriculture, recreation, and development. I believe that Cumberland Township is well managed and has a legacy of supervisors who have dedicated time and service to the residents. I plan to build on that work with the current supervisors and hope to bring a new perspective to the team. I am familiar with the Cumberland Township Police Department and their service. I look forward to learning more about the Cumberland Township sewer authority and highway department. I’m confident that I will easily be able to have open communication with all departments and township residents. As the township evolves, I will be an advocate for providing high-quality services and professionalism in a cost-effective manner. My prior experience I own a home in Cumberland Township and am invested in this community. I plan to raise my children here and want the best community for them. Public service is vital and I want to make sure that I contribute in a positive way to my community. I want to serve as a role model for others, especially our youth and my own children. I want to show them that you can not just sit back and watch things happen, you have to be engaged and part of the solution. I consider myself to be committed, organized, and efficient. Jack Ketterman Republican Supervisor Germany Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents This is the importance of being able to serve, of being able to put your professional experience to work and implement new and fresh recommendations for our township. Keeping in mind all of which is done governed by sound fiscal management and for the safety and well being of our residents. And to apply my education, professional and inter-personal skills for the benefit of our township residents. You listen, then apply best management practices. A lifetime resident of Germany Township. My prior experience Education: Littlestown High School Graduate Bachelor of Science – Business Administration – York College Required Mandatory Courses in Emergency Management Life Saving Experience: Current Supervisor – 12 years Past elected township auditor Retired from United Defense (now BAE systems) with over 30 years Board of Managers Mt. Carmel Cemetery Serves as township representative for Council of Governments and Boroughs Association Experience in Contracts, estimating, sales, cost accounting, supervision and warehousing. St. John’s Church Volunteer Donates garden produce to Council of Churches and Senior Center USMC – Cpl E-4 Life member: American Legion, Amvets, VFW, Littlestown Fish and Game Kathleen Ferguson Democrat Tax Collector Germany Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I hope to be able to provide the same excellent tax service that our prior tax collector provided us with for so many years. My plan, if elected, is to work out of the township office with posted hours and to be available to assist with any and all of your tax concerns. My prior experience While I do not have experience as a tax collector, as a retired middle school educator, I am always excited to learn new skills. I have earned my BA from York College and my Masters from McDaniel College in Westminster while my husband and I have lived and raised our two boys here in Littlestown for 37 years. John Ramirez Democrat School Board Director Gettysburg Area School District What I will do to make a difference for my constituents School Director Position: I am running for the position of School Director in the Gettysburg Area School District because I feel that my background and skill set can be utilized in collaboration with the experience of the other members of the Board in striving to meet the vision and goals of the students, parents, community and Superintendent of Schools. Many experts have projected the difficulty our students will have returning to regular in-class instruction. It has been noted that some students may have regressed during the past year due to the change in their learning environments. There will be challenges to all in the school system once schools are able to open completely. The challenge for the Board and the Superintendent will be to help navigate this transition seeking to regain student academic success and a return to educational normalcy. Although the Board does not run the district it strives to ensure that the district is well-run. I realize that I am just one vote among nine and that my role will be to contribute to the discussion whenever I can and be open to learn from the collective experiences of the Board. My primary goal will be to help maintain and improve the physical safety, cognitive development, academic achievement and career goals of all the students within our district. These objectives should be consistent with established professional and educational principles of “Best Practices” as established by the Superintendent, School Board, professional faculty, and all school personnel. Above all, I seek to find common ground and focus on what can be agreed upon by promoting honest and respectful dialogue among the Board, school staff and the community. In conclusion, although students may have different learning styles, I believe that all students can learn. Our students remain the most important constituents in our public education system. My prior experience Background, Experience, and Education: I was born and raised in Upper Manhattan, New York City. My parents were from Puerto Rico. As an undergraduate I became interested in psychology while working in a community mental health program and at a drug treatment detoxification and maintenance program in the Bronx, New York. Working as an assistant nursery school teacher in an innovative therapeutic nursery school program for children of schizophrenic mothers I realized the importance and impact that a male teacher and a positive role model could have on young children at risk. My early interest in psychology was combined with education leading me to earn a teaching certificate in N thru 6. I completed my student teaching in a 3rd grade classroom. I worked in a special drug awareness program in a high school and later earned a Guidance Counselor Certificate. In addition to teaching in New York and New Jersey colleges, I held several positions in higher education administration as a Registrar, Financial Aid Advisor, and Academic Counselor. I earned my Master of Arts in Psychology and Master in Education in Applied Human Development and Guidance from Teachers College, Columbia University. I retired in 2011 after 20 years as an Associate Professor from the Department of History and Social Science from Middlesex County College in New Jersey where I facilitated the learning of up to 480 students per year. My teaching responsibilities included Psychology, Education, and Student Development classes, both in-person and on-line. After retirement, my wife and I moved to Gettysburg, “The best small town in America,” where her family lives. For the last several years I have volunteered at local organizations and participated in many community, cultural, and social activities. Carrie Adams Soliday Democrat School Board Director Gettysburg Area School District What I will do to make a difference for my constituents There are typically two specific pathways for school board members to make a difference for constituents – 1) in school board sub-committees and 2) school board meetings. To effectively use those pathways, it is important for a school board member to listen to all stakeholders and it is important to prepare for all school board meetings by reading all documents and asking questions. Listening to constituents, such as community members, parents, and students of the school district, happens in interactions throughout the community, during public comment, letters to the board, survey results, and so on… In listening to constituents there are consistent concerns about the lack of diversity among school staff, the health and wellness of students, frustrations with the 2020-21 educational model, school tax rates, and how tax dollars are spent. There are solutions to all of the concerns and most of the topics listed are routinely addressed. The one topic that has not been addressed in board subcommittee meetings or board meetings is the diversity of the GASD staff. Students of color make up greater than 20% of the school population yet there is only one teacher of color in the district. In pondering why this is the case, I do not believe a solution will come about in the usual way – through a board subcommittee or action (vote) during a board meeting. The solution lies in how GASD will attract highly qualified teachers/staff of color to job openings. This might begin with reinventing a club like Future Teachers of America at the high school, inviting students to join the Early Learning Program at Adams County Technical Institute, ensuring job postings are in media sources beyond Adams County, etc… If elected I will continue to listen, to use the typical pathways of solving issues such as board subcommittee meetings and board action. I will also explore an atypical pathway to find a solution for attracting a more diversified candidate pool and I would volunteer to reinvent a club like Future Teachers of America to inspire students to consider joining the education profession. My prior experience The role of the school director is to hire/evaluate the superintendent, approve the superintendent’s budget, and set board policy. In school board meetings and board subcommittee meetings there are opportunities to influence the school district budgets, the superintendent’s short-term and long-range plans for the district, and board policy all while staying within the guide rails of Pennsylvania school law and federal policies. Understanding school law, school budgets, respecting those employed by the school district, knowing how to ask questions, and working collaboratively with the other 8 board members are key skills in serving as a board member. Over the last 5 years, I have honed those skills while serving on the Gettysburg Area School District Board of Directors as well as the Adams County Technical Institute Joint Operating Committee. I understand decisions made by past board members, the long-term plans of the District, and what is needed for the district to evolve with the changing dynamics of education. Additionally, I have worked in K-12 public education for 30 years leading large-scale, multi-agency projects while also ensuring every student has the resources needed to succeed. In my professional role, I support the PA Department of Education, schools across the state as well as locally to bring about needed change. My decision-making is influenced by a commitment to ensuring all students have a high-quality educational experience, a conservative and responsible lens on the use of tax-payer funded resources, a willingness to learn from those with different perspectives, and a heart of service to our community. The GASD systems of which my dad, my children, and I are all alumni have changed over time and will need to continue to change to meet the community expectations for future graduates. To see those changes come about there needs to continuity in board membership. I can bring continuity, experience, and qualified skills to the Gettysburg Area School District Board of Directors. Jimmy Phelps Democrat School Board Director Gettysburg Area School District What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I would love to see the school district find new ways to encourage communication with families so that families have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the issues facing our district. Personally, I will reach out to friends and neighbors as well as make myself available to talk to any parents or others invested in the well-being of our students. Depending on the issue, I would seek out the opinions of individuals who know more about a certain topic or field. In addition, I will continue to use my candidate Facebook page to interact with the community throughout my tenure on school board. My prior experience I am proud to volunteer throughout my community. I am currently a GARA (Gettysburg Area Recreation Authority) board member as well as an assistant scout leader for Boy Scout Troop 79 and an assistant coach with Gettysburg Cal Ripken Baseball. I have been a parent volunteer at Lincoln Elementary School for over five years and have helped coach a Franklin Township Little League Baseball team for several seasons. Last summer I designed and led the construction of the bicycle pump track at the Gettysburg Rec Park. I care very much about our community and speak routinely with members of numerous organizations and individual citizens in order to address issues and concerns in our area. Rita Frealing Democrat Mayor Gettysburg Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents As your next mayor, I will represent the Gettysburg Borough on all community concerns, including efforts to speed reducing the effects of the pandemic. I will address and represent local business concerns, tax and revenue issues, diversity, inclusion, and the quality of life in our borough. My roots here run deep. My aunt, Mary “Mickey” Patrick, was very active in the Gettysburg Community, and I want to follow her lead and use my 20+ years of experience in government to give back to this town we love so dearly. What can I do to help our community the most? [Please watch my video](https://www.dropbox.com/s/azdfhu18vdaqymh/Mayor_Frealing_2021.mp4?dl=0). Please [visit my Facebook page](https://www.facebook.com/FrealingForMayor/). Community first. You talk, I listen. My prior experience I am a Gettysburg area native and now resident with more than 20 years of experience in government, including chief counsel and legislative director for PA Sen. Vincent Hughes, director of public liaison for the PA State System of Higher Education, director of communications for the PA Department of Public Welfare, and director of the Dauphin County Domestic Relations. I served as a deputy press secretary for Gov. Bob Casey and worked in his Office of Policy. I worked as director of government relations for the PA State Department of Education and served on the boards of the Greater Harrisburg NAACP and the Gettysburg YWCA. My media background includes work as a news reporter for WTPA radio and TV and for WHP Channel 21, and weekend news anchor for WGET in Gettysburg. In retirement, I was a retail worker at Peebles Department Store. In all my positions, I liked meeting people and listening to their concerns and figuring out ways to help. I am a graduate of Saint Francis Xavier School, Gettysburg High School, Penn State University, and the Penn State Dickinson Law School. Chad Alan Carr Democrat Borough Council Gettysburg Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents My goals and issues on my website I believe will show that I am an excellent candidate for Mayor. While I am a registered Democrat, I think of myself as very open minded and middle of the aisle. By listening to Republicans and Independents in our town just as much as Democrats, I hope to continue to make a difference here. One of my main goals is to continue to create more unity and community bonds under the umbrella of open, honest, and civil dialogue. Sometimes government procedures can be confusing, so I want to bring transparency to the process. Every citizen deserves to understand the why, how, and who of how local government works and how they can get involved. Communication is very important to me. I’d like to implement additional mandatory, annual Police Empathy and Racial Bias Training Programs for the police department. I understand they are doing some training like this already, which is great. I think more of it would benefit both the Police and the town. I’d also like to create a task force or community group to help bridge the gap in communication and transparency between the borough council/management and the police department. The task force should include two from council, the borough Manager, the Mayor, the chief of police, and two or three members of the community that have experience in mediation, human relations, and mental health support. It’s imperative to support our Police and also provide them with the the resources and funding needed so all interactions are handled in a professional, safe, and empathetic way. Let us all come together in 2021. We absolutely can not have another year like last year. Thank you for your support. My prior experience I have lived in Gettysburg for more than ten years. During that time I experienced what it is like to be a tax paying citizen of this town. I also experienced what it was like to operate a business in Gettysburg. As the Evecutive Director of the only community theatre in Adams County, I experienced what it is like to interact with the townspeople and visitors. While living in Gettysburg I have done my best to be a productive member of the community. I chartered the International Thespian Society Troupe at Gettysburg High School and produced the Eastern States Regional Premiere of The Penguin Project (a theatre program for local children with special needs) here in Gettysburg. I also was instrumental in bringing the week long, National Festival, American Association of Community Theatre festival (AACTfest2019), to Gettysburg, which created lots of revenue for the town. In 2017 I co-created Gettysburg Pride and have chaired the event ever since to celebrate equality in our town. I also initiated a proposal to Borough Council for a Non-Discrimination Ordinance that was recently enacted by the borough by unanimous vote after a year of work on it. I have been a producer and a collaborator my entire life. The passion and intensity I have that enable me to get things accomplished will continue to help me as Mayor. According to Title 11, Chapter 112, Section 11201 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the only qualifications needed to run for mayor is that the candidate be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of the borough for at least one year to the date of election day. I meet both of those qualifications. Brian Hodges Republican Borough Council Gettysburg Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents My three main priorities after getting elected are to: 1. Keep the bourough safe. There is nothing more important to me than the safety and security of our citizens. I back our police department and police chief 100%, and will try my hardest to get them back to being fully staffed. 2. Keep the borough clean. Withought a clean, pleasant and safe environment, tourism, which is the main economic driver in Gettysburg, will diminish. I will fight to get our public works department back to being fully staffed so we can keep our streets and public areas clean and safe. 3. Keep taxes as low as reasonably possible. We must keep the cost of living in the Gettysburg community to be affordable for those on fixed incomes to live, while still completing infrastructer and repairs that are necessary. My prior experience I moved to Gettysburg in March of 2005 with my wife and Mother to buy the Brafferton Inn Bed and Breakfast located on York Street. This was after an extensive search for a bed and breakfast, and we are so happy we found Gettysburg! At the bed and breakfast, we host thousands of tourists a year. So my job is not only to welcome them to Gettysburg, but also to cook breakfast for them, and answer any questions they may have, such as where to eat dinner, what tours to take, and any other general questions they may have. Another aspect of being a business owner is having to do a budget, hire and train staff, market the inn, and keep in clean! I firmly believe being a business owner right downtown makes my qualified for the position. I also own a home in Ward 3, where I live with my wife and 3 children. We love our neighborhood and our neighbors. We are a short walk to the Gettysburg Recreation Park, and use it often. Thomas Carr Republican Mayor Gettysburg Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents Mayor of Gettysburg has limited authority concerning the daily operations of the borough. I understand the role to be more ceremonial than actionable. With this in mind, I will be the spokesperson and de facto leader of the borough. I intend to encourage the development and prosperity of local business, while addressing the impact this may have on Gettysburg Borough residents. Creating an environment where local businesses have the means to survive is essential for the Borough, but this approach must be designed in a manner that does impede on the desires of its residents. I believe the appropriation of funds needs to be addressed. The taxes imposed on both borough residents and business owners needs to be allocated in a manner that benefits all of those who engage in borough activities. Various departments frame the Gettysburg Borough, and each department should be allotted the necessary resources to operate, while eliminating any gratuitous spending. I have spent most of my lifetime as a borough resident, and I feel money is consistently depleted without truly benefiting the community. Community is where I want to end this question. I believe Gettysburg to be a truly wonderful community, but without proper leadership we could lose that honor. I feel the only way to maintain this joyous small-town feel is to assure every individual in the community has a voice. In a political climate that has become so polarized, we need to find ourselves organizing productive dialogues that express inclusion rather than contempt. My prior experience My strengths as candidate for mayor are rooted in the 50 years of experience serving the Gettysburg community. I was privileged to serve as a police officer in the borough for eight years (1976-1983). Policing the borough enabled me to master the capacity to approach every situation with effective communication and compassion. My period as a borough police officer also facilitates my ability to provide appropriate oversight of the police department. I have also devoted a significant amount of time (50 years) toward volunteer firefighting at the Gettysburg Fire Department. I spent two of those years (1982, 1983) as chief and am honored to be recognized as a top 10 responder for the past 8 years. The vast amount of time spent as a volunteer firefighter aided the development of crucial skills necessary for the position of mayor. My abilities to adapt under unpredictable circumstances surrounding an emergency response have allowed me to refine my skills as a leader and problem-solver. The high stress situations that I am commonly hurled into as a first responder present me with an unquestioned potential to remain sensible and confident during the decision-making process. I also spent 30 years (1984-2014) as an elected Gettysburg Magisterial District Judge. During this tenure, I swore under oath to protect, obey, and defend the constitution of the United States and the Commonwealth. This oath is a fundamental component of my life, and I can assure that impartiality will be applied to any disputes that may arise within the borough. Patricia Lawson Democrat Borough Council Gettysburg Borough Ward 1 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I will listen to all residents and business owners in the Borough of Gettysburg to hear what their concerns or needs are, both individually and as part of the greater community. We are fortunate to live in Gettysburg and Adams County. While we attract several million visitors a year that helps to generate revenue, we also have to remember that our small number of taxpayers in the Borough support these services used by tourists, and we must be creative and entrepreneurial in thinking of ways to generate revenue without causing an undue burden on the borough taxpayers. As a Council, we can’t do that alone, but rather we need to engage the creative and intelligent minds of our neighbors and friends in our community. Gettysburg is the county seat, and as healthy and vibrant as our Borough of Gettysburg is, so goes the rest of Adams County. We are in this together. My prior experience I am seeking re-election, having just served my first term on borough council. I feel like the first term in office is a learning curve, and in a second term I can be more focused on goals and needs of the borough. Edward Riggs Democrat Judge of Elections Gettysburg Borough Ward 2 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents Free and fair elections are the basis of our democratic process. I will ensure a fair, flawless election in Ward 2 of the Borough of Gettysburg. There is nothing political about this position. If you are eligible to vote, you will have the opportunity to do so without restriction or bias. My prior experience Retired teacher and coach Amanda Day Democrat Judge of Elections Gettysburg Borough Ward 3 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I believe strongly in the right to vote and making sure that each voter is welcomed and feels safe in voting. Our “team” applauds each voter voting for the first time. And I use the word TEAM proudly. It is a long day from 6:30 am to sometimes 10 pm and we work together well, regardless of party. Our goal is to ensure all proper procedures in the counting of ballots and an accurate count. My prior experience Before moving to Gettysburg over 10 years ago, I was active with the election board in Mt Pleasant township. It was with great regret that I gave that up when moving. I was overjoyed to be asked to help again in Ward 3. After serving as clerk for a number of years, I was recommended to serve as Judge of Elections. It is a very great honor to serve in this capacity. Kelly Lawver Republican Clerk of Courts Gettysburg Borough Ward 3 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents One of my commitments during my campaign in 2005 was to increase the collections of fines, costs, and restitution due to victims of crime. For the years 2007 and again in 2008, we succeeded in increasing our collections by over $1.6 million dollars more than the amount that was being collected in 2005, the year before I took office. Prior to taking office, the average monthly revenue was about $95,000. to $110,000 per a month. Currently, we average over $300,000. each month. For March 2021, we had our second highest collections on record, receipting $475,197.86. The money is disbursed as restitution to victims of crime as well as fines and costs collected and due to municipalities, the County, and Department of Revenue. I will continue to increase collections of fines, costs, and restitution due to victims of crime. I will continue to push for the use of technology to provide efficient service not just to my constituents, but to everyone who must interact with the Adams County Clerk of Courts Office. All of our active records have been digitized and are available to all departments electronically. Over the last few years, we have been able to eliminate the physical creation of miscellaneous, juvenile and dependency cases. In 2021, we have eliminated the creation of criminal misdemeanor cases. I will continue to save the costs of paper, supplies, staff time, and the physical space of storing these records by eliminating the need to create physical case files. In June 2020, we implemented our new Orphans’ Court case management system. This system permits electronic filing and includes online services. In the near future, we are planning on turning on a fully integrated video marriage application process along with the ability for attorneys to create and file new cases electronically. As of 2021, my office is now ready to convert our Orphans’ Court records to PDF/A images for permanent record retention. This will allow the paper records that are considered permanent retention to be stored only as electronic images. By converting to PDF/A, we will eliminate the requirement to create a physical case record for Orphans’ Court matters. I have accomplished a lot during my tenure and I am truly honored by the support I have received over the years. I appreciate your continued support! My prior experience I have worked in the Clerk of Courts Office since 1997 when I was hired as a deputy clerk. I was eager to become proficient with all of the duties and responsibilities of the department. In 2005, I decided to run for election and took office in 2006. Judie Butterfield Republican Borough Council Gettysburg Borough Ward 3 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I have said many times that it is in the workings of local government that issues that directly and immediately affect community life are addressed. I strongly believe it is the epitome of neighbor representing neighbor for the good of the Borough.The skills that I bring to the office of Borough Councilman are diligence, a long history of public service in County and Borough organizations, agencies, and initiatives, and a habit for carefully researching an issue to ensure it is resolved in the manner most beneficial to the Borough. I will work conscientiously to ensure the Borough’s financial status bounces back from the devastation caused by the pandemic by prudently and responsibly applying those additional funds that have become available. A priority for me is the replacement of staff and police positions which we were forced to cut during that time. My prior experience I am pleased and excited to have made the decision to stand for re-election for my Third Ward seat on the Gettysburg Borough Council. I was appointed to that position on August 12, 2019, and elected in November of that year to serve two years of an unexpired 3rd Ward term. I would be honored to serve again and would like to be considered for remaining in that capacity for the next full term. I currently serve as the Council’s liaison to the Steinwehr Avenue Business Improvement District, and the Adams County Transportation Planning Organization. I also continue to head the Borough’s recycling initiative as I have done since 2007. I am a diligent worker, and an advocate of historic preservation balanced with reasonable, practical business-friendly policies. I have a record of perfect attendance at Borough meetings since having been appointed in 2019 and do not accept the stipend paid to elected members of council. I believe my experience in Gettysburg Borough government will allow me to “hit the ground running” if afforded a new term. Jeremy Smith Republican Supervisor Hamilton Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents The biggest issue that I have seen on the horizon is the population surge proposed from all the developments going in around this area. We must protect this land from becoming over-populated and prevent the need for increased taxes from all the issues that come along with the big buildup. I will continue to assist the township and my constituents by working to prevent more developments being built in the area and by helping the township stay in good financial status so that tax increases are not necessary. My prior experience For the past five years, I have attended the monthly supervisor meetings and volunteered on the Finance Committee. Throughout my time as an attendee at the supervisor meetings and a volunteer on the Finance Committee, I have gained valuable knowledge about the township. I have also played a large role in assisting the township with being in good financial shape without any tax increase. I also volunteer as the assistant treasurer and as a board member at my church. In my spare time, I help on a sprint car team and enjoy visiting all of the local dirt tracks. I have lived in Hamilton Township for the last 14 years and want nothing more than to see it flourish. Keary Decarlo Democrat Judge of Elections Latimore Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I am volunteering my time to assist our township with this very important process of elections. I will be dedicated to being honest and fair. Thank You My prior experience I have been voting for 40 years. Betty Bucher Republican Borough Council Littlestown Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents As a current council member, we are working to make improvements to the community park. Our community is growing and changes must be made to meet our changing needs. I hope to see our business community grow as well. There are business sites for rent we would like to see rented. Our zoning ordinance needs to be updated as well. As a growing community we need to grow with all the changes that come with growth. All this must be done and stay within a budget. That can be a challenge at times. My prior experience Lifetime littlestown resident. Former business owner. Served 3 terms on council. Christopher Snyder Republican/Democrat Magesterial District Judge Magisterial District 51-3-02 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I believe the position of Magisterial District Judge to be different from much of the other elected positions in that, aside from the election process itself, politics play no role in how the position should be conducted day to day. Furthermore, in my capacity as a police officer, I have been able to develop effective communication skills, active listening, and critical thinking that would allow me to perform my duties as a District Judge at a high level. My understanding of criminal/civil law, rules of criminal procedure, and the Constitution allow me to make sound decisions on a day to day basis, as well as upholding the rights of the citizens I interact with. I pride myself on treating others with respect regardless of circumstance, and will continue to do so as your Magisterial District Judge. My prior experience I am a native to south eastern Adams County, and a graduate of Delone Catholic. I began my career working with delinquent youths at Hoffman Homes before venturing into Law Enforcement. I have been a police officer for over 8 years, and currently hold the position of Detective within my agency. Throughout my career I have received numerous accolades, to include being named Officer of the Year in 2015. I come from a family of first responder’s, with my father being a police officer for over 30 years, a younger brother in law enforcement as well, and my youngest brother currently serving in the Marine Corp. My background in police work has adequately prepared me for the position of Magisterial District Judge. I handle everything from criminal and civil cases, to landlord tenant issues on a daily basis in my capacity as a police officer. I have made over 1000 arrests, and having a very strong working knowledge of the judicial system, especially at the District Judge level. Donna Spangler Republican Borough Council McSherrystown Borough What I will do to make a difference for my constituents Listen to the citizens to hear their needs and concerns and announce their concerns with council for a solution or what maybe done to fix the problem. Make life enjoyable in our great place called McSherrystown. My prior experience Work well with others,problem solving and sounding board. Have worked at the Hanover Hospital for 25 years and counting John Santino Republican Inspector of Elections Menallen Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents To help ensure that those folks coming in to vote are, in fact, the folks listed on our voting rolls. I’ve lived in Menallen Twp for 43 years and personally know many of the individuals coming in to vote. My prior experience I was the Inspector of Elections, in Menallen Twp, back in the early 80’s when Maurice Black was the Judge of Elections. Several elections ago, the present Judge of Elections, Mark Wilson, asked me to assist at the polls. The present Inspector of Elections is not seeking reelection. Mark asked me to run; I agreed. Todd McCauslin Republican Supervisor Mount Joy Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I don’t believe in sitting idle, now is the time to step-up and take-action to prevent our township’s rural character and rich history from being lost forever. We need to save our farms, while respecting the land and the environment, so it’s there for the next generation. My main priorities will include better communication and collaboration with residents, having supervisors be more accessible, and implement a decision-making process that is much more transparent. We need to promote “smart growth” and manage responsible development that aligns with the comprehensive plan, along with Planning Commission recommendations. As a township supervisor, I will be both responsible and ethical when deciding issues of public safety, growth management, zoning, roads, code enforcement, environment, and ultimately how to pay for it all… We need to support our local businesses, fire departments and public services, while keeping the township budget in check – and thereby limiting the municipal tax burden on residents. My prior experience As a life-long learner, educator and resident of Adams County, I am looking forward to growing and extending my public stewardship. Our elected official(s) should be representing “We-The-People” and protecting all residents, never self-serving nor favoring a select few. When you serve with self-discipline, morality, and liberty within local government, you actually empower the rights and power of its citizens. I am ready to make honest, positive, and cooperative changes, doing what is good for the township as a whole and helping our local communities do better. We need to collaborate with our constituents and implement a “shared vision” of what is best for our Mount Joy community. Christine Demas Republican/Democrat Supervisor Mount Joy Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents After a career of private and public sector project management, I am well prepared to bring the skills of communication, management and decision making to the township. As a Project Manager Professional, (PMP) I understand how to get meaningful work done, on-time and within budget. While being a business owner has provided me with the skills necessary to understand and promote economic development. And finally as a farmer, I have developed a tremendous respect for the land and those who work it. My prior experience Transparency and accessibility. By working together, we can ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness and communication will strengthen our community and promote efficiency and effectiveness in our Township. Access to your local leaders should be easy and open. It should not become a second job to know what is happening in your back yard. John Gormont Democrat Supervisor Mount Joy Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents Maintaining the financial stability of the Township. Providing the necessary funding to continue to maintain the Township roads and bridges as well as ensuring the employees have the equipment and tools they require to perform the work they do in a safe manner. Providing a modern , safe, harmonious working environment for the Township staff. The Township staff is the backbone of the Township government and that is what makes it work. I say “Thank You” to them all. My prior experience The knowledge and experience I have gained over the past 12 years. It is not always possible to make everyone happy, but there are rules and regulations that we MUST adhere to at all times and I am committed to doing that. In the past 12 years there have been things that I did not like but was required to do, because it’s the law. The Township was in poor finical shape in 2010 with a very large debt, but today we are in very good finical condition and I am committed to continued finical responsibility for the Township. The Township real estate tax rate in 2010 was 2.38mils. After eliminating the debt, we now have a very low tax rate of .15mils. Lowering the taxes was on of the major reasons I originally ran for office and I am committed to the same today, . Maybe totally eliminating the Township real estate tax in the near future. Please check the Township web site for a breakdown of the progress on the tax reductions. Timothy Staub Democrat Judge of Elections Mt Joy Township Ward 1 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents I firmly believe that, as Judge of Elections, I play an important, but non-political, role in politics. As Judge, I allow for any voting citizen to express their voice through their vote. While I certainly have my own political opinions, I respect everyone who comes to vote, providing superior customer service, answering questions, and giving assistance, so that I may make a true and perfect return of the voted-upon ballots to the Court House at the end of each Election Day. My prior experience For the last 8 years, I have been the Judge of Elections in Straban Township. After falling into the position (winning as a write-in candidate), I proudly served out my civic duty through each Spring Primary and November General election. Because of my growing household and subsequent move, I am now running for the same position in Mt. Joy Township. Wes Thomason Republican Supervisor Reading Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents My job will be working for the tax payers of Reading Twp. I feel that we are an agricultural farming community. Most of the people who have moved into this area, moved here for that reason. Most of us have small farms or farmettes of our own. My job as a Supervisor will be to listen to the people of Reading Twp and doing what’s in their best interest. My prior experience I am a Navy Veteran, with experience as a team leader. I presently volunteer for Roots for Boots which is a nonprofit veterans organization. I have owned and operated an excavating business, as well as holding positions in supervision. I retired in 2019, and now fulfilling a life long dream as the Pastor ofThe Servants Way Church in East Berlin. Alan Cecilio Non partisan Judge of Elections Straban Township Ward 2 What I will do to make a difference for my constituents For the last eight years, Straban #2 has been led by Timothy Staub, a well-respected election official. Tim has moved to Mt. Joy Township and hopes to continue his service in his new home precinct. Similarly, I moved to Straban #2 in May 2021 and hope to continue my service as an election official in my new home precinct.   As a head of a nonpartisan team of poll workers, I will ensure fair and open elections, guaranteeing every voter has the right and opportunity to vote once in each election. I will respect everyone who comes to vote, provide superior customer service, answer questions, give assistance, and solve problems. I will ensure the accuracy and integrity of the ballots cast in our precinct until they are delivered to the Board of Elections at the end of each Election Day. My prior experience I have 22 years of experience as a Chief Election Judge serving in Montgomery County, Maryland. For the past eight years, I have also served as Director of an Early Voting Center. After the elections, I served as a member of the Election Canvas, reviewing provisional and absentee ballots. The last six years I worked with the Deputy Director of Elections on a small election audit team for Montgomery County. I ask for your vote so I can continue to support the election process in my new home. John Aldridge Republican Supervisor Union Township What I will do to make a difference for my constituents Union Township is staffed by part time people working as hard as they can to keep up. And that has worked for a lot of years. However it is time to improve the situation, hire more people and offer more help to our citizens as the Township grows. And the Township is going to grow faster in the next five years then it has in the past fifteen years. My prior experience Current Township Supervisor My life experience, professional experience and desire to help others. I am eager to hear ideas from others that are interested in helping resolve issues or improve our Township. It is always an effort to get people to agree on anything but if you try and help promote best practice and best ideas (even if it is not yours) the cream will rise to the top and we all will be better for it. And you can not take it personal if you do not get your way. That said a Supervisor has to decide what actions are best to keep the Township moving and help the people living in the Township improve their properties and lives as best they can. Bruce Hollabaugh Republican School Board Director Upper Adams Area School District What I will do to make a difference for my constituents Fight for parents/students rights. Constantly do what’s right for the students of the district. My prior experience Appointed as interim school director by current board in December for remaining 2020-2021 school year. Lifelong resident of the district. 3 children in the district currently.