Pa. candidate says she will resign post if elected

November 03, 2005|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - W. Jean Oliver, a 14-year veteran on the Greencastle Borough Council, won the Republican nomination in the May 17 primary, but she said she won't serve if elected.

Oliver, who tried unsuccessfully to get her name removed from Tuesday's general election ballot, said her mother, who lives in Florida, has health problems and needs her attention.

If Oliver wins, she will resign and let the council appoint someone to fill her seat, she said.

Incumbent Councilman Charles Eckstine will share the Republican ballot with Paul T. Schemel, a first-time candidate, and Harry Foley, a former councilman.


The lone candidate on the Democratic side is political newcomer Kate Deater.

"She is very qualified. I think she will do well," Oliver said.

Oliver said she will serve out her term, which ends Dec. 31.

Deater, 34, of 138 S. Allison St., said she's running "to get involved, to represent my age group, my demographic."

She said she is interested in issues that concern the borough's younger residents.

Deater is a dean of students at Greencastle-Antrim High School.

Eckstine, 65, a retired commercial airline pilot, has been on the council for 12 years.

"My background enables me to contribute on the council. I'm running again because I want to give back to the community," he said.

One of the big issues facing the borough is police protection, said Schemel, 33, of 152 S. Washington St.

He said his experience in municipal law (Schemel is the solicitor for Quincy Township, Pa.) has taught him how things are run.

He wants to ensure that the borough plans well for the future, especially with the growth moving in on its borders.

"It impacts the borough," Schemel said.

Foley, 60, of 54 Apple Drive, is a retired Washington County teacher and administrator.

He served on the borough council for four years in the late 1970s. He also was mayor of Greencastle for four years in the late 1980s, he said.

He sees the big issues as traffic congestion. "It will take a lot of effort between the borough, Antrim Township, Franklin County and the state to solve the problem," he said.

He said there is value in a combined borough/township police force "to keep the area safe and secure."

Mayor Robert "Red" Pensinger, like Oliver, advanced to the general election after the May 17 primary votes were counted.

Pensinger, 72, also changed his mind about running and managed to have his name removed from the November ballot.

Pensinger had a falling-out with some council members over police department issues. He said at the time that he felt the department needed more money and an additional officer.

The Franklin County Republican Committee chose Robert Eberly to run for the mayor's job in Pensinger's stead. He is running unopposed.

Council President Barbara Bock and Councilwoman Sydnae Vanner lost their re-election bids in the May primary.

Council members earn $900 a year, the council president earns $1,200 a year and the mayor is paid $1,500.

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