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Managing growth a major issue for supervisor candidates

May 10, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Despite a slumping housing market and recession, the two men running for one open seat on the Washington Township (Pa.) Board of Supervisors identified future growth as a major issue for the municipality.

"The task at hand is to manage this growth in a sensible manner in order to maintain, at an affordable cost, the services we expect from our local government," said Jeffrey Geesaman, a lifelong township resident.

"The rate of change has outpaced the ability of the existing and planned infrastructure to adequately react," said David McCarney, who also has lived his entire life in the area.

Supervisor Christopher Firme is not seeking another six-year term because of an employment conflict with the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from holding office. McCarney and Geesaman are Republicans who will appear on ballots during Pennsylvania's May 19 primary election.

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Geesaman worked for the township's roads department in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He served on the Washington Township Municipal Authority board for 15 years and works in construction through Lobar Inc.

Geesaman, 54, has promised to review regulations "that tend to discourage commercial and business opportunities."

"Supporting such opportunities has always been an important element to the success of Washington Township," he said.

McCarney, 59, served six years on the Waynesboro Area School Board in the 1970s. The co-owner of Control Consultants, McCarney highlighted his engineering and accounting collegiate studies as an asset for the board.

"We are now facing a time where township revenues are significantly reduced and where we must continue to meet the undiminished needs of a greatly enlarged population," he said.

McCarney said residents' input and "common sense" must be used to create a master plan "not to prevent growth, but to manage it so we don't harm the environment, overpopulate our schools, or overtax our local government's ability to maintain our infrastructure and respond to the everyday needs of our township's residents."

Likewise, Geesaman called for "sensible solutions" for "sensible growth."

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