Washington Township primary race wide open

May 15, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Five Washington Township, Pa., Republicans have filed to appear on primary election ballots May 15 for two open supervisors seats.

Incumbents Paul Benchoff and C. Stewart McCleaf are both seeking re-election. They are challenged by Elaine Gladhill, Steve Kulla and David A. McCarney.

Benchoff, 81, of 362 Geiser Ave., Waynesboro, said others encouraged him to seek another term and maintain the board's balance.

"This is my 20th year as a supervisor," said Benchoff, who has lived in the township his entire life.

He identified priorities facing the township as finishing Washington Township Boulevard, setting aside areas for recreation and keeping roads in good repair.

A retired school teacher and World War II veteran, Benchoff served nine years on the township zoning hearing board and 13 years with the Washington Township Municipal Authority.


He feels the zoning hearing board experience will be a benefit as the township considers Conservation by Design, saying that he "learned a lot of the problems when we have rezonings and people's questions."

Gladhill, 49, of 14547 Carrosmar Farm Road, Blue Ridge Summit, is a former correctional officer and member of the Washington Township Conservation Zoning Committee, Antietam Watershed Association and One Mountain Foundation.

"I believe there is definitely a large gap between the local government here - the township supervisors - and the community as a whole," Gladhill said.

She has concerns about the transparency of local government and the township's infrastructure, specifically the ability to make left turns while traveling on Pa. 16.

Kulla, 43, of 11617 Woodlea Drive, Waynesboro, has lived in the township since 1990.

"I believe I have a lot to offer the township based on my experiences and long-term involvement in the community," Kulla said.

Kulla, an area attorney, said he wants to supply creative ideas to manage development, address traffic, find alternative methods of funding and make sure youths flourish in the community.

"Franklin County is a really developing county, and we have to make sure we're creative in our development so the elderly and the people just graduating from high school can afford to stay here," said Kulla, who founded the Waynesboro Children's Theatre Troupe.

Kulla and McCarney both previously served on the Waynesboro Area School Board.

McCarney, 57, of 11 Eastland Circle, Waynesboro, has lived in the township since 1966.

"Like Teddy Roosevelt, I believe people should be in the public arena," McCarney said. "I think there has to be a lot of thought given to how development proceeds in the township."

A self-described fiscal conservative, McCarney works in engineering.

McCleaf, 65, of 228 S. Oller Ave., Waynesboro, has served a full term on the board and represents the supervisors on the municipal authority's board.

"The township is in excellent shape with our budget. Property taxes have been raised only one time in approximately 22 years," McCleaf said.

A retired Smithsburg police chief and township resident for about a dozen years, McCleaf is involved with several organizations including the Antietam Watershed Association, Germantown Church of God and Rouzerville Lions Club.

He identified issues as balanced growth, road maintenance, frugal use of revenue and tools to create more jobs and businesses.

The township supervisors serve six-year terms. The top two vote-getters from each party will advance to the election in November.

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