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Three Lower Swatara commissioners face challenge from two other candidates

By Jason Maddux

jasonmaddux@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 3/12/19

Three Republican incumbents on the Lower Swatara Board of Commissioners are facing challenges from two candidates for their seats.

Board President Jon Wilt and Vice President Todd Truntz have …

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Three Lower Swatara commissioners face challenge from two other candidates

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Three Republican incumbents on the Lower Swatara Board of Commissioners are facing challenges from two candidates for their seats.

Board President Jon Wilt and Vice President Todd Truntz have declared their candidacies, along with a third incumbent, Mike Davies, according to the declared candidate list provided by Dauphin County Elections and Voter Registration on Tuesday.

The deadline to turn in paperwork to Dauphin County Elections and Voter Registration was 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

There is one declared Democrat, Danielle Prokopchak. She ran in 2015 for a four-year term but came in fourth in a race for three seats against Wilt, Truntz and Davies. Attempts to reach her Tuesday were not successful.

Also running as a Republican is Donald Wagner, in his first attempt at public office, although he told the Press & Journal he served on the Lower Swatara Planning Commission for three years in the 1990s. He also worked for the township’s municipal authority in the 1980s for about 4 years, he said.

Because there are three seats being contested, three of the four Republicans will move on to the November election. Prokopchak, as the only Democrat, also will advance.

Wagner in September raised questions at a board of commissioners meeting about where the township should cut grass along roads. He told the commissioners that there were intersections where he had to drive past the stop sign to see around tall grass.

“That actually was a turning point for me. I thought, there has to be something done. The present administration doesn’t seem to take certain things we all hold dear as close as we do. I believe firmly that the aesthetics of the township are just as important as keeping taxes low,” he told the Press & Journal. “I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with putting forward ‘X’ amount of dollars in the budget for people to maintain it. We’ve already bought the equipment to do that. Why aren’t we doing it? It doesn’t make any sense to me. That piqued my interested.”

He said the township needs to do more than just put up warehouses and keep the taxes down.

“We have to have concern for the people who have lived here all their lives, who have devoted their time and their money into their homes. You have to respect them. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable flopping down a big business next to a day care,” he said.

That said, he supports the recent UPS and D&H warehouse plans.

“I really enjoyed D&H’s presentation. I think they’re going to be a good fit. Here again, if you take it site-specific, for where they are going to go, that is a good fit. It’s going to generate good revenue. It’s not like putting 200 houses in there, where your traffic is going to be a lot more,” he said of the plans for the Jednota property.

UPS also is a good fit for North Union Street, he said.

“I know there were people who were disappointed. There is always going to be someone who is disappointed, I believe. But for that location and that land there, speaking for the township, that was a good plan,” he said.