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Middletown Borough Council: Candidate Q&A

Posted 11/6/17

There are four seats available — three for four-year terms and one for a two-year term.

Ben Kapenstein is on the Democratic ballot seeking election to the one two-year seat on council. …

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Middletown Borough Council: Candidate Q&A


There are four seats available — three for four-year terms and one for a two-year term.

Ben Kapenstein is on the Democratic ballot seeking election to the one two-year seat on council. Rachelle Reid, a former councilor, is on the Republican ballot for the two-year seat. 

The two-year seat is held by Democrat Dawn Knull. She is on the Democratic ballot for one of the three four-year seats. Incumbent Ian Reddinger also is on the Democratic ballot, along with Jenny Miller, who is on the ballot as both a Democrat and Republican.

On the Republican ballot for the four-year seat are Miller, Reid (who is running for both seats, although she can only fill one) and David Rhen. Rhen is also a former borough councilor. 

Incumbent Anne Einhorn is not running for re-election.

Rachelle Reid

I am a graduate of Middletown High School and Dauphin County Vo-Tech, where I studied electronics technology. I studied political science and social sciences at HACC. I’m retired as a heavy equipment operator from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. I also served as a union president for Local 3033 AFSCME for 13 years. I was the executive officer for District Council 90, AFSCME. I am currently a Republican committeewoman and I sat on the Middletown Borough Council from 2002 to 2010. For six of the eight years, I served as vice president. 

1. Should the borough continue to provide electricity to residents and businesses as is done now, or should the borough pursue divesting itself of this?

Yes, the borough should continue to provide electricity to the residents and businesses of Middletown as it has been doing. However, we need to ensure that electricity is affordable for the residents and we need to find a way to lower costs. I don’t believe in selling off assets, which our electric department is. Even if the General Assembly passes the bill that says we are no longer able to transfer money from the electric department to the general fund, we will still be able to use the money for electric capital improvements. 

2. How would you assess the way the borough communicates and provides information to its residents? What changes do you want to see made?

I think that communications have improved and will continue to improve with the use of social media but we need to be consistent and thorough with our messages. We cannot just boast about the good things that are happening. We must also keep our residents informed when things may not be going well. We also need to consider all the people that may not use social media, and I recommend we provide a monthly newsletter to help keep residents informed. I believe in full transparency of all borough business.  

3. Arrange the following in your order of importance and explain: public safety; taxes; utility costs.

a. Taxes

b. Public safety

c. Utility costs

The only reason I put taxes ahead of public safety is because I believe public safety is funded through taxes. I believe the borough gets enough money from taxes and therefore I don’t support raising taxes but rather believe in reallocating the funds we already receive. By doing so, I believe public safety could be funded in a way that ensures our residents are safe. I believe in an environment where the local authorities are embedded in the communities. I want to see Middletown the way it was when I was young. As kids, we knew all of our local police officers by name and with a town as small as ours, this should be common nature. 

I put utility costs last, not because I don’t believe it to be an important issue but, because I had to rank three topics and someone has to come in last. As stated previously, I believe that utility costs need to be affordable for all residents and I’ll work tirelessly to ensure this is the case. Some people currently on council believe we should raise our rates in accordance with inflation and I don’t support this. I will look for ways to ensure that residents don’t pay the price for bad decisions being made.

Ben Kapenstein

Did not respond

Dawn Knull

Did not respond

Jenny Miller

Did not respond

Ian Reddinger

Did not respond

David Rhen

Did not respond