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Stearn to run for Franklin Co. seat

February 24, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A third Democrat has entered the race for the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, with St. Thomas Township resident Cheryl Stearn announcing she will seek one of the two Democratic nominations in the May 15 primary.

"I am passionate about open and responsive county government," Stearn stated in her announcement. Growth is another theme that Stearn, along with other announced candidates, is raising.

"Ensuring and maintaining livable communities is one of my interests," Stearn said. "We are facing an onslaught of development from the south and it's very difficult for the county, school districts, townships and boroughs to handle it."

That growth places strains on public services, which impact fees on development would help pay for, Stearn said, although that would require convincing the state legislature that they are needed.

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"I'm interested in maintaining a good environment and safe places to raise families ... This is a beautiful area," Stearn said. Those qualities attracted her and her husband here 34 years ago, she said.

Stearn said she also will take an active role in assuring that the county's social service agencies are well-run. Through the campaign, she said, she also will try to ascertain the issues that are important to residents.

"Part of it will take getting feedback from residents through the campaign to find out what they are passionate about," Stearn said.

Stearn, 60, whose husband, Frank, is a St. Thomas Township supervisor, has been active in two issues within the township in recent years. She was a member of Friends and Residents of St. Thomas (FROST), which led an unsuccessful effort to stop a quarry operation, and was involved in organizing a home rule referendum that was defeated in the November election.

Frank and Cheryl Stearn own Sunrise Electronic Distributing Co. in Chambersburg.

Born in York and raised in Lancaster, Stearn has a degree in English from Lebanon Valley College. She is a Democratic committeewoman and a member of the Chambersburg Hospital Board of Directors.

The other announced Democratic candidates are Waynesboro, Pa., attorney and former borough councilman Clint Barkdoll, and businessman Bob Ziobrowski, a former president of the Chambersburg School Board.

Incumbent Republican Commissioner Bob Thomas, former Waynesboro Borough Council president Douglas Tengler and retired federal analyst Carl Barton have announced they are running for the two GOP nominations in the primary.

The deadline for candidates in all county, municipal and school board races to file nominating petitions is March 6.

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