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Pa. commissioners say they'll run again

November 19, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County Commissioner G. Warren Elliott announced Wednesday he will run next year for a second term and his fellow commissioners said they will likely follow suit.

"We have made tremendous strides in Franklin County is the past three years and I would like to continue to build upon those achievements as we begin our entry into the next century," Elliott said in his re-election announcement.

"I'm calculating that I probably will run again," Commissioner Bob Thomas said Wednesday night when told of Elliott's plans. Thomas said he plans to make an announcement tonight when he meets with supporters at the county GOP headquarters.

"I'm going to run, but I don't have a press release," Plummer said Wednesday. She had planned on holding off on an announcement until after Thanksgiving.

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Plummer, 49, of Chambersburg, is the lone Democrat on the board of commissioners. She was appointed to the board on Jan. 17, 1994, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Commissioner Dennis Zeger of Mercersburg, Pa.

She was elected to a full four-year term in 1995.

"I think the county is headed in a very positive direction and I want to continue to be a part of that," Plummer said. She said the county faces "positive challenges" of balancing economic development against its rural environment.

Elliott and Thomas, who is also 43 and from Chambersburg, were elected in 1995, as well. Thomas had been a Chambersburg councilman.

Elliott had previously served a nine-month interim appointment on the board when Commissioner Fred Rock of Pond Bank, Pa., retired in March 1997.

Both Elliott and Thomas noted that for the second year in a row Franklin County has the lowest adjusted tax rate in Pennsylvania. When the three took over the board in 1996 they voted to eliminate the county's $1.2 million personal property tax on certain stocks and other investments.

The commissioners said another accomplishment was expanded services and increased efficiency at the Franklin County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which have brought it to the point of nearly breaking even.

At the county prison, the board members began a "pay to stay" program with inmates paying part of the cost for room and board and medical expenses. An inmate community service program is also being planned, according to Thomas and Elliott.

Elliott, who chairs the board, noted the county plans to fully computerize all its offices, and has installed computers and Internet access at some of the county's senior activity centers, as well.

"I think we have been successful in improving the efficiency of county government while keeping down taxes," Thomas said.

The announcements by the commissioners come six months before the May primary.

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