Price, Heckman seek win in Peters Township primary

May 13, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Voters in Peters Township will decide which of two experienced candidates for township administrator - incumbent Galen K. Heckman or challenger Roger W. Price - will best serve their interests.

Both are considered qualified for the job - Heckman because he's held the seat for 42 years and Price because he's held several appointed and elected positions in Franklin County.

Heckman, 71, lives at 5342 LeMar Road in Mercersburg. Price lives at 4000 LeMar Road.

Heckman is seeking his eighth six-year term.

Heckman also worked for the township for years before he retired while he was a supervisor.

"I did everything," he said.

The township has four employees, including Joseph S. Rotz, an incumbent supervisor, plus two other outside workers and an administrative assistant, Heckman said.


John Brake is chairman of the three-member board of supervisors.

The township's population is about 4,200. It runs north of Mercersburg through Fort Loudon to the Fulton County line and east to the Antrim township line. Peters Township, founded in 1708, was once part of Antrim Township.

Heckman said the last time he had an opponent was 12 years ago.

Mainly a farming community, growth in Peters Township has been slow, Heckman said.

"We get a house here and a house there. We'd like to keep it that way. Houses don't pay for themselves," he said.

"I think because of my years of experience as a supervisor that I can offer a lot to the community," Heckman said. "For 42 years I have always given prompt response to citizens' requests."

He said in his campaign brochure, "My oath of office demands that these requests be fulfilled in accordance to township code and the laws of Pennsylvania."

He is a lifelong resident of the township, is director of the First Bank of Mercersburg, a member of the Mt. Parnell Ruritan Club, past president of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and is a member of Franklin County Agriculture Board and the county planning commission.

Heckman said his campaign will consist mostly of meeting and talking with voters.

Price comes to the May 20 primary with many years of experience, too.

He is in the second year of his second four-year term on the Tuscarora School Board, a job he said he will give up if he's elected as township supervisor.

He moved to Peters Township in 1990. Before that he served for more than 10 years as a supervisor in Metal Township.

"I really enjoyed being a township supervisor. That's why I'm running," he said. "I have a lot of experience and I think I have a lot to offer."

Price has served as president of the Franklin County Association of Township Officials, has served on the Franklin County Planning Commission, is past president of the Mercersburg Lions Club and was a member of the Lions Club in Path Valley, Pa., he said.

He is a lineman for Allegheny Energy and works out of McConnellsburg, Pa.

Price and Heckman are members of Brandts Church of the Brethren.

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