4 Republicans and 3 Democrats seeking seats on Harmar’s supervisory board
Four Republicans and three Democrats are vying for two nominations in their respective party’s primary races for the Harmar supervisory board.
The board is made up of five supervisors elected for a six-year term. Primary is May 18.
The GOP race includes incumbent Robert Seibert, who was elected Democrat but is running as Republican, and challengers Neal Farkas, Frank Hatterer and Rick Kleiger. The Democratic race includes incumbents Linda Exler and Harry Lenhart and challenger Samuel Boak.
Here’s a rundown of the candidates, starting with the four Republicans listed in alphabetical order, then the three Democrats.
Farkas, 78, is now chairman of the Zoning Board of Harmar.
“I know most of the supervisory board members and believe I can make a major contribution to the decision-making needed to try to get things done because of my background,” said Farkas.
Farkas has spent almost 15 years working in commercial real estate. Previously, he worked for 27 years as a corporate account manager at Digital Equipment Corp., a company that was ultimately sold to Hewlett-Packard.
“I feel like I have a good background in budget management and property development,” said Farkas. “I am a solution oriented person. So when the going comes I feel I can quickly understand what the goals are regardless of the topic and make a good informed contribution to the supervisory board.
Hatterer, 68, works as a housekeeper at Fox Chapel Golf Club. He said he thinks Harmar is performing well, but he thinks there is room for improvement starting with the township business district.
“It looks to me like the (business district) is falling apart,” Hatterer said. “I don’t think there are enough good companies like supermarkets and things that should be here. There are a lot of empty buildings here that need to be bought or turned into something. We are not doing enough.
“The old people who live in these skyscrapers should be able to go out and go to a supermarket near them and not have to worry about calling someone to get them something.”
Hatterer said he believes residents should get more for their taxes, adding, “I want to try and give people what they would like to have if it’s reasonable.
Kleiger, 70, is a native of Los Angeles who spent the 1970s and early 1980s working as a senior control engineer for television stations in Southern California. He moved to the Pittsburgh area in 1982 and worked for WPGH-TV and then set up his own production company.
Kleiger moved to Harmar last year and said he embraced the community. Kleiger never ran for public office, but said he decided to do so this year because he wanted better government oversight. “I trust myself more than I trust the other guy and that’s why I’m showing up,” he said, noting that the township provides funds for firefighters, but “we didn’t never seen an audit.
Kleiger would also like to see government officials in Harmar communicate better with residents.
“We don’t do a quarterly letter here like Indiana Township and other townships do,” Kleiger said.
Seibert, 68, has served occasionally as a Harmar Supervisor since 1979. If re-elected, he said it would likely be his last term. Seibert works primarily in real estate and warehousing. He owns Lincoln Warehouses, a business he has run since 1979.
He said his accomplishments as a supervisor have included lobbying for substantial subsidies for the township and keeping its tax rate unchanged between 2000 and 2005 at 2.26 mills.
“It was tough but we did it,” Seibert said.
Seibert also stressed his desire to reduce the canton’s property tax rate from 3.45 to 2.9 mills. This decision was unanimously approved by supervisors last December.
He said he would like to see the township move forward with “a substantial township road paving program that we all promised in town hall meetings to the people of Harmar Township.” We need to. “
Boak, 44, from Harmar, has never run for political office, but has held various positions in the townships, including code enforcement officer, zoning officer, deputy head of emergency management and zoning hearing board member. He currently sits on the Planning Commission.
“I love the Township of Harmar, obviously, for growing up there and staying in the community. I want to see him continue to grow and succeed, ”said Boak, who spent several years working as an electrician and is now a dispatcher for Oak’s auto / truck service.
Boak said improving the parks was one of his top priorities. Other goals include reducing sewer bills and paving more roads.
“There are side streets that have been torn apart due to the removal and replacement of sewage and water pipes,” he said.
Exler, 69, was appointed to the supervisory board to complete Jim Devlin’s tenure following his resignation last year. She has been a resident of Harmar for 43 years and is married to Harmar’s supervisor, Bob Exler.
Former Senior IT Operator at Rockwell International for 10 years, Linda Exler said she was running for a full term to provide “honesty and accountability” to Harmar. Regarding past tax cuts, she said, “I know we can continue to give back to people and do the right thing. My whole life has been dedicated to serving and caring for others.
Exler said she would like residents to have more of a say in the township’s decisions, and while she believes the township is functioning well, she believes there is room for growth.
“We have good restaurants. We have some nice hotels just off the highway. We have (AHN Harmar Neighborhood Hospital). We have a lot to offer, ”she said. “I would like to see more restaurants come in and more diversity in some of our stores.”
Lenhart, 77, worked for the CIA for 35 years as an intelligence operations officer stationed in Washington and other cities around the world. If re-elected, Lenhart said he would like the recordings to be more accessible.
“There are a lot of zoning records, property records, things that haven’t been digitized. There are boxes full of documents and we get questions about zoning issues that happened 30 or 40 years ago that are not filed properly, ”Lenhart said. “It is important that the public can retrieve this information.”
Lenhart said he also wants to keep taxes low and improve communications and transparency.
“I would like to find a way to involve the community more and be more aware of what we are doing,” he said.
“People don’t understand how the township government works. I’m going to start explaining various things on our website, such as the tax structure. How are we taxed? Where is the money going? How is the administration of the canton organized? How many departments do we have? ” he said. “People don’t know these things and it’s hard to make an intelligent decision about what needs to be done unless you have this information.”
Paul Guggenheimer is an editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected]