Category Archives: Politics

Help the Gazette help you

In case you missed it, the Lower Paxton Township supervisors again have received less than desirable media attention. This time it’s for holding a meeting that lasted less than one minute. The Gazette had the story last night on Facebook and Twitter, and WHTM abc27 weighed in with a story tonight.

Bill Seeds (

The dispute centers on whether longtime supervisor Bill Seeds is a legal resident of the township and eligible to serve out his sixth term of office. He’s not running for re-election and his term ends at the end of this year.

His home in the village of Linglestown apparently has been sold and his wife told the world on Facebook that she is now living in Fenwick Island, Delaware. Bill is living with a son in Lower Paxton Township, according to Mrs. Seeds via Facebook.

As a journalist, I could get help sorting through the legalities of this situation by joining the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA). They have a lawyer on staff that specializes in dealing with situations like the one swirling around Bill Seeds and the entire Board of Supervisors. The annual fee to join for an online news organization is $500.

Bill Bostic, journalist

Honestly, the Gazette doesn’t have the funding to do it. The Gazette is set up as a non-profit organization in Pennsylvania and the application process to become an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization is under way. Some commercial sponsorships have been secured and a few readers have become patrons, but the books are bleeding red ink every month.

If 10 readers would donate $5 a month over the next year, the Gazette could join the PNA and immediately get the specialized legal help to get to the bottom of Lower Paxton’s latest public relations dilemma.

At the time this article was written, the Gazette had 6 patrons contributing a total of $39 per month. The telephone call to join PNA will be made if the monthly total grows by $42 per month. (PNA will accept monthly payments of $41 and change toward the $500 annual fee.)

To become a Gazette patron, CLICK HERE and them click the “Become a Patron” button. The crowd-funding website accepts credit and debit cards and payments via PayPal.

LP supervisors race contested on GOP ballot

Editorial by Bill Bostic, publisher of Linglestown Gazette

Two seats are up for grabs on the Lower Paxton Twp. Board of Supervisors this election season with Supervisors Bill Seeds and Bill Hornung opting to not seek re-election.

Fortunately, three solid candidates are on the Republican ballot in Tuesday’s primary election. The two Democrats in the race – Jacob Kreider and Catherine Scheib – will get on the fall ballot as long as no one mounts a last-minute write-in bid .

Best known among the Republicans is Lowman Henry, who previously served as a township supervisor and county commissioner. Beyond being an experienced local official, he has been actively involved with the Colonial Park Rotary Club, including serving a term as president and leading club’s effort to erect a clock in the Linglestown square.

Chris Judd and Timothy Pramik, the other Republicans on the ballot, don’t have the Henry’s experience in township affairs, but both have been involved in the community. Judd is finishing his stint on the Central Dauphin School Board and Pramik has been a firefighter with Colonial Park Fire Co. #1 for 47 years.

Judd has teamed up with Henry on the campaign trail and both of them have been endorsed by the Dauphin County Republican Party. Meanwhile, Pramik appears to be banking on support from the firefighting community and is being aided by some of the same folks who helped state Sen. John DiSanto win his seat last fall.

Henry’s experience in public office and civic affairs would be a valuable addition to the board. I’m not in a position to endorse either Judd or Pramik because I haven’t talked to either one of them.

CLICK HERE for more information from PennLive’s voters’ guide about the Republican candidates.

Epstein faces big change as CD board member

Eric Epstein, a Lower Paxton resident and Central Dauphin alum, was seemingly born to be a critic of politicians.

He has a statewide footprint as a political activist and has gone toe-to-toe with government officials over nuclear power, ill-gotten pay raises and broken labor contracts.

Now he has crossed over to the other side after being sworn into office as a Central Dauphin School Board member. Will he be able to change gears to become a team player, or will he find himself at odds with his school board colleagues?

He got in front of the camera Tuesday evening after the school board meeting to discuss his new role as an elected official.

Central Dauphin fills open school board seat

Central Dauphin School Board was facing a state-imposed deadline Monday evening to fill a board seat formerly held by Jay Wenger, who resigned because he moved outside the district.

Fortunately, two highly qualified candidates – former school board candidate Jeanne Webster and William Roberts Jr. – applied for the job to represent residents in the district’s region 1, which roughly covers Penbrook, Paxtang and Swatara Township.

Webster, who operates Ice Cream Heaven & BBQ Cottage on Derry Street, indicated that she currently has her hands full assisting her son, Cody, who is the running for a national college football award.

Webster’s family commitments made what could have been a tough choice much easier for the board. They opted to take immediate action and unanimously voted to appoint Roberts. He will be sworn into office on Dec. 3.

Roberts graduated from Central Dauphin High in 1956 and lives in Oberlin. He held several corporate management positions in the food industry and currently serves on the Swatara Township Sewer Authority.

He is involved in several church and volunteer activities and saw the open seat as an opportunity to use his business experience to serve the community.

School board president Ford Thompson said Roberts is the first African American to be elected or appointed to the board.
Update – According to a Gazette reader, Barbara Thompson, an African American lady (no relation to Ford Thompson), served with distinction on the Central Dauphin Board. She represented the Swatara, Paxtang area of the district.

Central Dauphin Residents Can Quiz Candidates Seeking To Run $162 Million District

Central Dauphin School District voters have a chance to hear from all school board candidates in contested races this fall at a “Meet the Candidates” event, sponsored by the Central Dauphin Middle School PTA, on Tuesday, Oct. 8 in the Central Dauphin Middle School auditorium, starting at 7 p.m. (map)

There are four candidates seeking two seats to get a say on the educational policies, budget and property-tax rate for one of the largest school districts in Pennsylvania. All candidates are expected to participate in the candidates’ night.

WHTM abc27 weekend news anchor Megan Healey will moderate the forum that will include time for citizens to ask questions of the candidates.

“School board members are called on to make decisions that have a major impact on students and the entire community.” said Bill Bostic, a community activist helping to stage the event. “This is the only opportunity voters will have to directly hear from all candidates prior to Election Day on November 5th.”

Incumbent Linda Dallago will compete against Eric Epstein in the district’s region 2, which includes Dauphin Borough, Middle Paxton Township and part of Lower Paxton Township.

The other race pits incumbent Chris Judd against Jay Purdy for the region 3 seat to represent most of Lower Paxton Township and West Hanover Township.

Why I’m Peeved Big Time About Tuesday’s Vote

I’m PO’d, hot under the collar, frosted, steamed and then some over the primary election for Central Dauphin school board seats.

No, it has nothing to do with the results of the two contested races. The results were about what I expected – the November general election will be a replay of Tuesday’s primary.

What bothers me is the in-your-face apathy displayed by a majority CD residents in a time that has no room for “who gives a rip” attitudes. Out of the tens of thousands of adults in the two school regions with contested races, only 8,000 voters went to the polls. And that’s on top of a smattering – maybe 30 – who attended the candidates’ forum on May 7.

I’m also peeved because unless something changes soon, many CD residents are going to blow off the general election in November too.

Simply put, students can’t afford this kind of apathy. And here’s why:

When was the last you heard a school official say a district could run out of money? Probably never, right?

Well, it happened at a CD meeting a few weeks ago. And, by the way, it’s projected to happen in 2016, which is just around the corner.

The state pension system is killing CD and other school districts across the state with skyrocketing bills for school employees’ retirements. The annual cost is going up by a few million every year, and school officials – no matter who they are – can’t magically snap their fingers and find millions of new dollars year after year after year.

These times require people to serve on the school board who have the experience to tackle tough problems and to ask tough questions.

They need to be willing to lobby federal and state lawmakers who are killing public education with unfunded mandates, like pensions.

They have to communicate with the public and get citizens involved long before major decisions are made.

They need to be innovative.

And they need to stick to their guns when negotiating contracts with teachers and other bargaining units.

So, all CD residents of voting age have an assignment to do between now and the general election on November 5: get to know school board candidates Jay Purdy, Eric Epstein and incumbents Chris Judd and Linda Dallago so you can determine who has what it takes to address the current tough times.

I beg you not to wait until your elementary school is targeted to close, the school musical is dropped or a sports program is shut down to wake up and get up to speed on what’s happening.

I hope I’m in a better mood on Nov. 6.
CLICK HERE for a summary of Tuesday’s school board primary by Julie Mattera of The Patriot-News and

CD Board Delays Budget Vote

Central Dauphin School District officials late last week postponed Monday’s regular board meeting and rescheduled it for Thursday, May 30 to apparently buy time to put the finishing touches on a proposed budget for next school year.

The state-mandated deadline for adopting a preliminary budget is May 31, and at last word the district had a $2.3 million gap to fill.

Karen McConnell, the district’s top business administrator, has indicated in recent weeks that she and her staff have been fine-tuning various budget line items and weighing whether to increase the projected revenue from earned income taxes.

The board early this year agreed to cap a tax hike at 1.7 percent, which would raise a little over $1 million in new revenue.

The postponement of Monday’s board meeting prompted school board candidates Jay Purdy and Eric Epstein to question the reason for the move. The district’s announcement on its website did not give a reason for the postponement. CLICK HERE to read a joint press released issued Saturday by Purdy and Epstein.

In Tuesday’s primary election, Purdy is challenging incumbent Chris Judd in region 3, and Epstein is taking on incumbent Linda Dallago in region 2.
Photo by The Patriot-News

Local Guy to Appear on TV

Eric Epstein (Photo by The Patriot-News)

Lower Paxton resident and Central Dauphin school board candidate Eric Epstein will appear Thursday evening on TV WITF Smart Talk from about 8:30 – 9:00 pm to discuss government reform. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a freaking boring topic.

BUT Eric is a trip and he’ll be entertaining despite the topic.

Eric is known far and wide in Pennsylvania for being a state government reform advocate. He’s the founder of Rock The Capital.

Locally, he heads up Lower Paxton watchdog group Stray Winds Area Neighbors and is an active member of the CD High alumni association.

State Sen. Rob Teplitz will be on the show too. He is among those spearheading an attempt to clean up the way the state General Assembly operates.

Linglestown-area election results

Rep. Ron Marsico

Congrats go out to Rep. Marsico for winning another term of office, his 13th, and newcomer Rob Teplitz, who snagged the state Senate seat now held by retiring Sen. Jeffrey Piccola in a testy race with former Dauphin County GOP chief John McNally.

Lastly, thanks go out to Kelly McEntee for entering the race against Marsico and grabbing a good number of votes.

Sen.-elect Rob Teplitz

LP resident to challenge Rep. Marsico

Kelly Jean McEntee (pictured to the right), a Lower Paxton resident, has formally announced her candidacy for the 105th Legislative District seat of the PA House now held by longtime Republican lawmaker Ron Marsico.

McEntee is currently employed as a quality engineer in manufacturing. She volunteers as a legislative advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and is a member of the PA Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee. She is a graduate of the Ohio State University College of Engineering.

McEntee, a Democrat, told online news website PoliticsPA, “If elected, I will work from day one to improve the economy of Dauphin County and provide family-sustaining jobs, reform government, and ensure the state provides adequate funding to our public schools.” She also supports term limits.

CLICK HERE to read a Patriot-News article about McEntee’s campaign.

CLICK HERE for Marsico’s re-election announcement that was published by The Patriot-News.

Both candidates are currently running uncontested in the April 24 primary election.

Linglestowner running for state office

Bill Seeds, a Linglestown resident and longtime Lower Paxton Township supervisor, has announced his candidacy for the PA state senate seat being vacated by Jeff Piccola at the end of this year.

Other announced Republican candidates in the race are John McNally of Lower Paxton Township and two men from York County, businessman Steve Johnson and York County Clerk of Courts Don O’Shell. It’s uncertain if Johnson and O’Shell will be appear on the ballot now that the PA Supreme Court threw out the new legislative map that was based on the 2010 census.

Primary election day is on Tuesday, April 24.

Stand up with Stambaugh

Gazette congratulations go out to Blue Meadows Farm resident and Gazette contributor Ken Stambaugh for winning yesterday’s Lower Paxton Republican Committeeman race for a precinct that covers part of Linglestown.

He topped incumbent Jeffrey Engle 248-146 in voting that took place at St. Thomas United Church of Christ, which is located just east of the village on Linglestown Road.

The main job of a committeeman is to get out the vote on election day.

Photo credit: Matt Stambaugh

Related links: Adventures with KenLinglestown weekenderAirspace is busy over Linglestown

Government watchdog, 07.06.09

* In Lower Paxton Twp. news, the Parks and Recreation Board held their monthly meeting last Wednesday. CLICK HERE for meeting highlights provided by community watchdog group SWAN.

* The supervisors will meet tomorrow, Tuesday, July 7, at the Municipal Center, 7:30 pm. The meeting will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 20.

The meeting agenda is fairly light. One item that is of interest to some Lingelestown residents is the proposed acceptance of Blackberry Lane between North Mountain Road and Blue Mountain Parkway as a public road. CLICK HERE for background information (see second item).

* The Central Dauphin School Board will meet next Monday, July 13, in the Lecture Hall of Central Dauphin East High School, 7 pm. The big topic of discussion is supposed to be a proposal to outsource management of the district’s bus fleet.

* Gazette reader and my chief geek advisor Jay Mumper unsuccessfully tried to find an online CD School District calendar that automatically notifies interested parties when it is updated. He turned his frustration into productive action by setting up a Google calendar with the district’s 2009-2010 calendar.

CLICK HERE to view the calendar (PDF file), HERE to subscribe to the calendar’s RSS feed, and HERE for a file that can be imported in MS Outlook.

He would welcome letting someone else who follows district news be the editor (or to add school board meetings, etc.). E-mail B² if you would like to volunteer.

SWAN will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, July 13, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1100 Colonial Road, 7 pm. The public is encouraged to attend.