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Mercersburg mayor announces commissioners run

March 01, 2007|by DON AINES

MERCERSBURG, PA. - Mercersburg Mayor James C. Zeger has announced he is running for the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, making him the fourth Democrat in the running for that party's two nominations in the May 15 primary.

"I think I've prepared myself in the last 30-odd years of public service for a new challenge," Zeger, 60, said Monday. "I think I'm one of the most-qualified people running right now."

Zeger, whose late brother Dennis A. Zeger was a county commissioner, has worked as a high school mathematics teacher and teacher supervisor at the Maryland Correctional Institute in Hagerstown for 38 years.

"If I'm elected, I will do it full time," Zeger said. "After almost 39 years, it's time to get out of jail, if you will," he said, referring to his job.

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Zeger served 22 years on the Tuscarora School Board, including eight as treasurer. He has been mayor of Mercersburg for the past four years, he said.

"These two experiences alone have provided over 26 years of working with budgets, personnel issues, building projects, negotiating contracts, supervising a police department, etc.," according to his campaign announcement.

It also stated that he has a record of fiscal responsibility, citing the savings of "millions on the cost of the Mercersburg Elementary School and his leading the successful fight to actually cut the property tax millage rate in the Tuscarora School District."

"It's taking care of growth and planning and watching tax dollars," Zeger said of his plans, if elected. He said the current board of commissioners has done a good job and he would continue "in the progressive mode we've been working on for several years now."

Other organizations with which he has served include Franklin County Easter Seals, the Chambersburg/Mercersburg United Way, the Tuscarora Area Jaycees, the Mercersburg Lions Club and the Mercersburg Elementary PTO, of which he was president.

The other Democratic candidates are Waynesboro, Pa., attorney Clint Barkdoll, a former borough councilman; Chambersburg, Pa., businessman Bob Ziobrowski, former president of the Chambersburg School Board; and Cheryl Stearn, a business owner who lives in St. Thomas Township.

On the Republican side, incumbent Commissioner Bob Thomas is running, along with former Waynesboro Borough Council President Douglas Tengler and retired federal analyst Carl Barton.

Two incumbents, Chairman G. Warren Elliott, a Republican, and Democrat Cheryl Plummer, announced recently they would not seek re-election.

March 6 is the deadline to file petitions with the county Election Board to appear on the primary ballot.

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