Democratic Commissioner Candidates Headline Dinner
Touching on the past and looking ahead to the future, three Democrats vying for the position of Fulton County commissioner headlined the array of candidates speaking Saturday night at the spring Democratic dinner.
Incumbent David Hoover II told the crowd at the Hustontown Firehall it was a mere four years ago he appeared at the podium in his initial run for office. Now in the last year of a four-year term of office, Hoover said that important topics before the board of commissioners back then included $4.5 million in building and grounds upgrades and inc reased parking as well as better communications with the public and county employees.
“We’re probably three-quarters of the way through (with the renovation project), and I feel that that job is going as well as to be expected with older buildings,” stated Hoover.
Hoover also added the commissioners’ town meetings have proven to be “productive,” and regular department head and employee meetings have also improved.
In the future, Hoover stated he would like to address several issues including moving forward with the building project, digitizing county records to save on storage space and aiding municipalities with their sewage and water problems.
Certainly not a newcomer to the political arena, commissioner candidate Travis Bard spoke of his time on the Mc- Connellsburg Borough Council. Currently serving in the capacity of council president, Bard noted even though tough decisions have been made at times, he has taken great pride in serving the borough residents. His decisions, Bard said, are based on what’s best for the taxpayers, and he has strived to control taxes and balance the borough budget.
If elected, Bard said he would remain truly focused in looking out for elderly residents and individuals on fixed incomes.
“I’m proud to be a part of my generation and try to move Fulton County forward. It would be a privilege to make Fulton County stronger, and I would like to be part of handing down a stronger Fulton County to the next generation,” Bard said.
Having run for county commissioner four years ago and narrowly missing securing a seat by only a handful of votes, Democratic candidate Irvin Dasher informed those in attendance he is a native of Howard County, Md. Having relocated to Fulton County in 2003, Dasher operates a beef cattle operation and has logged 35 years as an electrician.
“This election year mirrors that of 2007 in many ways. In reading over my speeches, newspaper ads, pamphlets and voter handouts, I see most of the same problems that I still see today,” Dasher stated.
Dasher said in spite of the town meetings, he did not see a conversation going on with the public. He indicated the residents are starved for information and often without updates, and there is a lack of both leadership and decision making.
Dasher asked for registered voters to elect a candidate who gives more than lip service.
Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne, who presides over northern Fulton County, announced he is unopposed in seeking re-election for a six-year term of office. Thanking those on hand for their ongoing support, Horne pointed out the one thing that separates judges from other candidates is that judges are limited to attending functions only on election years.
Having 15 years of legal experience, Tamela Mellott Bard introduced herself to the crowd as a candidate for magisterial district judge in southern Fulton County. Bard currently serves as public defender of Fulton County and is also the lone candidate with the necessary certification already in hand.
Bard stated she appreciated the support she has received and said, if elected, she would work as a full-time judge.
In her first attempt at office, county auditor candidate Ellen Wagner told the crowd she is a native of Bedford County. Having resided here for the last 23 years, Wagner said she is a working class mother and wife who also has a background in finances/ bookkeeping. Active in many community organizations such as local basketball teams and Boy Scouts, Wagner has also owned and operated her own professional cleaning service for 13 years.
Wagner encouraged everyone to get out and use their right to vote and asked for the support of her neighbors and the surrounding community in the May 17 election.
Ray Messick, who is found on the ballot as a contender for both Licking Creek Township, and county auditor, was the last candidate to address the crowd Saturday. Messick stated he has logged one six-year term as township auditor, and he continues to have concerns with the rising costs of repairing roads and insurance for township officials.
During his time with the township, Messick noted he has taken time to review the county’s audit the last two years. He concluded he would like to further look into areas such as insurance and also voiced his opposition to having three school superintendents in the county.