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Ziobrowski announces candidacy for Franklin Co. commissioner

February 23, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - A Chambersburg businessman and former president of the Chambersburg Area School District School Board has announced he is running for one of the two Democratic nominations for the Franklin County Board of Commissioners in the May 15 primary.

"I see Franklin County changing, and I think we need strong leadership to manage growth," said Bob Ziobrowski, who served eight years on the school board, including two as president, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"My experience in economic development, government contracting and property management will help me immeasurably as county commissioner," Ziobrowski stated in his announcement.

In addition to his experience with the school board, Ziobrowski also has served as vice president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., and as a contracting officer and property manager for the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority.

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Ziobrowski also is on the Chambersburg Planning and Zoning Commission, is chairman of the Chambersburg Hospital Board of Directors and is owner of Ziobrowski Appraisals.

"I think Franklin County needs progressive leadership. ... On top of that, I think I'd really enjoy the challenge," said Ziobrowski.

"I realize some decisions, like impact fees, have to be made at the state level," but as a commissioner, he said he would be an advocate for the county getting the tools it needs to manage growth.

"I think the border counties need relief," Ziobrowski said. With so many people moving to Pennsylvania from Maryland, he said, taxes could go up significantly if other methods of paying for public works and schools are not available.

"Impact fees weren't even a speed bump to slow development" in Western Maryland, but helped pay for the improvements made necessary by rapid growth, he said.

The county relies heavily on property tax revenues, but Ziobrowski said he favors a shift toward other sources, such as an earned income tax or sales tax, because the cost of government falls disproportionately on property owners, he said.

"Owning property is not an appropriate indicator of ability to pay taxes," Ziobrowski said.

Democrat Clint Barkdoll, a Waynesboro, Pa., attorney and former borough councilman, earlier declared his candidacy for commissioner. Republican incumbent Commissioner Bob Thomas, former Waynesboro Borough Council president Douglas Tengler and retired federal analyst Carl Barton have formally announced they are seeking the two GOP nominations in the primary.

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