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Franklin County employee seeks commissioners seat

March 29, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Ben Statler, the last of a dozen candidates in the race for three seats on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, has formally announced he is running for one of the two Republican nominations in the May 15 primary.

"I hope the voters understand the importance of the primary election," Statler stated in his announcement. "This vote comes close to determining who will be the commissioners for the next four years," taking the 12 candidates and producing two nominees from each party, he said.

Besides Commissioner Bob Thomas, also a Republican, Statler is the only other county employee in the race. The 56-year-old Chambersburg man said he has worked in the county's maintenance department for the past 1 1/2 years.

Before his current position, Statler was manager of the Guilford Township Authority for five years and the Greene Township Municipal Authority for 16 years, he said.

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"I have worked with a lot of budgets. I've worked with tight budgets" and know what is needed to balance a budget, Statler said. His background also gives him experience working with engineers in the design and construction of projects, knowledge he said will lend itself in assisting the county on projects, he said.

"I've worked in the ditches and I've worked as the supervisor and I've learned to look at things from all aspects and to listen to those around me," Statler stated in his announcement. Of his current county job, he stated, "There is no better way to learn how things work."

"We've got a challenge facing us of population growth, and we need everyone to be on the same page," Statler said. Managing growth and preserving the quality of life in the county will take "careful planning and government cooperation at all levels," according to his announcement.

"I don't think I'd change anything immediately" if elected, Statler said. He said he would need to examine county operations, but that there are things "I think could be done more efficiently."

"A lot of people have asked me to volunteer for this and I think the government needs attention," he said.

Along with Statler and Thomas, the other Republican candidates are former Waynesboro Borough Council president Douglas Tengler, former Chambersburg Borough councilman Carl Helman, computer network consultant David S. Keller, retired federal analyst Carl Barton and Southampton Township Supervisor Samuel Cressler.

The five Democratic candidates are former Waynesboro councilman Clint Barkdoll, former Chambersburg School Board president Bob Ziobrowski, Mercersburg, Pa., Mayor James Zeger, businesswoman Cheryl Stearn and former county Democratic Committee chairman Don Richards.

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