Snook won't seek re-election

Commissioners president says 'it's time for transition'

Commissioners president says 'it's time for transition'

July 04, 2006|by TARA REILLY


Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, who has been in office for 16 years, said Monday that he will not run for re-election to the five-member board.

"I just decided that I think it's time for transition, and I want someone else to have the opportunity to run for commissioner," Snook said by phone Monday. "There's no specific reason, other than I think it's the right time for that to occur."

As of 5 p.m. Monday, 22 people had filed to run for five open County Commissioner seats. The deadline to file was 9 p.m.


The primary election is Sept. 12; the general election is Nov. 7.

Snook, 48, said he felt comfortable that the current board of commissioners was doing a good job and would be able to continue its good work if re-elected.

Snook, of Williamsport, has been in office for four terms.

He was first elected in 1990 and has served as president of the board since 1994.

He's the only incumbent commissioner on the all-Republican board who is not seeking re-election.

Snook said he wrestled with the decision on whether to run and received support from his family, friends and co-workers to seek another term.

"My heart tells me that it's time I do something different," he said.

He informed his family last weekend that he would not be a candidate and told county senior staff members Wednesday, he said.

Snook said he has no immediate plans other than to finish his term on a positive note.

When Snook's term expires at the end of the year, it will mark the first time since 1974 - except for a 21-month period in the late 1980s to early 1990s - that a Snook has not served as a commissioner.

His father, Martin L. Snook, was a commissioner from 1974 until his death in March 1989.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval said Monday afternoon that Snook had told the commissioners he wasn't sure if he would seek another four years in office.

"It would be a big loss for us," Kercheval said about two hours before Snook told The Herald-Mail of his decision. "He's been a great colleague."

Kercheval said Snook was a leader who kept the county moving along.

"I'd certainly be disappointed," he said.

"But after 16 years of service, I'm sure he had good reasons," Kercheval said. "I know I would miss him."

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell called Snook a mentor to the commissioners.

Snook has been president during Wivell's two terms as a commissioner.

"It's a personal decision between him and his family, and you have to respect that," Wivell said. "It's been a pleasure serving with him for eight years."

Which Washington County Commissioners are seeking re-election?

President Gregory I. Snook: No

Vice President William J. Wivell: Yes

James F. Kercheval: Yes

John C. Munson: Yes

Doris J. Nipps: Yes

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