Seven vie for three open borough seats

May 11, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

Seven candidates - five men and two women, all Republicans - are running for the three seats up for grabs this year on the Greencastle Borough Council.

No Democrats filed for the May 20 primary.

The three incumbents trying to hang onto their jobs are Harold Duffey, 56, of 54 Homestead Drive, Harry S. Myers, 61, of 541 E. Baltimore St., and Don Coldsmith, 69, of 151 Apple Drive.

The incumbents are facing a tough challenge from three opponents who are campaigning as a team.

One of them, H. Duane Kinzer, said the goal is to support incumbent Councilman Charles Eckstine. If the three win and join with Eckstine, they would hold the majority of votes on the seven-member council, Kinzer said.


Eckstine confirmed Kinzer's remarks.

The other two team candidates are Gerald L. Pool, 62, of 145 Oak Lane and Shellie Leedham, 37, of 431 Leitersburg Road.

The trio is campaigning together, knocking on doors together, giving out the same message and have their names on campaign signs together.

Seeking her own primary win is Mary Troskoski, 47, of 436 E. Baltimore St.

Duffey, a 10-year council veteran and lifelong resident of Greencastle, has a long list of local civic accomplishments he said qualify him for another four-year term.

He is a 20-year member of Rescue Hose Co. No. One and a former chief deputy chief. He was a member of the Franklin County Fire Chiefs Association.

He has served on the borough's sewer authority and the Joint Ventures Committee between the borough and Antrim Township and was a member of Franklin County's Council of Governments.

Coldsmith, another council veteran and lifelong resident, served for eight years from 1964 to 1972. He returned to the council six years ago.

"I have the experience to serve," Coldsmith said. "I'm interested in what happens in Greencastle. It's my hometown."

He is on the board of associates for the First National Bank of Greencastle and worked as an insurance broker for 35 years in Greencastle.

Myers is a council newcomer of sorts. He was appointed to fill a vacancy in February, but has served before, for eight years from 1993 to 2001.

He said he's running because he cares about the community.

"I feel I have the experience to make sure that things are handled in the best way they can be," he said.

The council has held the line on taxes for years, Myers said.

"Things could get more expensive, but you have to be as fair as you can," he said.

Kinzer, 60, of 463 E. Baltimore St. served on the council until 1996 when he resigned after he filed a suit against a neighbor over a zoning issue. The case led him to file a complaint with the borough's Zoning Hearing Board.

"I resigned because I felt it would have been a conflict of interest," he said.

He owns Century Inc., has been active in Boy Scouts and is past president of the Franklin County Builders Association.

"The council has developed a procedure for executive sessions in which the motions they pass coming out of the session have nothing to do with what they discussed behind closed doors," Kinzer said.

Pool, an industrial engineer, also served on the council before. His issue is the Greencastle Police Department.

"It's costing the borough $316,000 a year to run the department," he said. "All but $7,000 of what the borough collects in local real estate taxes go to the police budget.

"There are four full-time officers and five who work part time. The borough only has one square mile of roads," he said.

"There are townships all around us with three times the population of Greencastle and they don't have police departments. Something is wrong here. You have a police department you can't afford," he said.

Leedham, the third team candidate, is making her first try at public office. A real estate agent and mother of two children, she moved to Greencastle nearly four years ago.

Her main issues are police protection and what she says is the lack of public participation at borough council meetings.

Leedham said she will push to have the borough's police officers spend more time walking the streets than cruising in their cars.

"The officers need to return to foot patrols and mix more with residents. We need more real community policing," she said.

Leedham wants the public to have more say at proceedings.

"As it is now, public comments are only allowed at the beginning of the meetings," she said.

Troskoski, wife of longtime member of the Greencastle-Antrim School Board member Ronald Troskoski, teaches people how to be foster parents for an agency in Chambersburg, Pa. This is her first try at politics.

She's running, she said, because she wants to see local government work better and because she is family- and community-oriented. Troskoski has three children.

She backs the police department.

"I want to make sure we give our full support to the police," Troskoski said. "I'm satisfied with them."

She said she thinks the council should increase its support of the police department.

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