Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mercer County gets a New Commissioner

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
Kenneth A. Seamans, 67, of Wilmington Township, was appointed by the county’s four judges Monday night to replace Michele Brooks as the county’s sole Republican commissioner...It’s the second time in five years Seamans has been tapped to finish the unexpired term of a commissioner.

He was also appointed by the judges in 2001 to complete the last two years of Brian W. Shipley’s term....
Seamans is eager to help out the county, which is a good thing. He didn't run for re-election the last time and has said that he doesn't plan on it this time.

The really good news is that the judges ignored the recommendation of the Mercer County GOP and their buddy-buddy system. Many people applied only through the GOP, effectively sealing their fates. The smart ones applied to the judges. The clever ones applied through both.

What this all means is that the field is going to be awfully crowded during the primary. Let the fun begin!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Media Coverage of Grove City's Balanced Budgets

The Allied News covered Grove City's 25-year string of balanced budgets. It was picked up by sister paper The Herald (Sharon, PA):
Twenty-five years of not raising real estate taxes was celebrated by Grove City council earlier this week when members approved a tentative 2007 budget of $13,861,351, which will be supported by a 4-mill levy.


Vance Oakes, borough manager, was pleased with the budget.

Not raising property taxes in the borough for 25 years needed to be “pointed out,” he said. “I feel that’s a milestone.”

It’s Oakes’ first time putting together the budget for the borough after he left the borough manager’s position in Greenville earlier this year to replace Terence Farren in Grove City.

Ms. Cooney commended Oakes on his first Grove City budget. “I think you understand the conservative way this town operates,” she said.
Kudos to Vance Oakes, the department heads, and the finance committee for their hard work and cooperation for creating yet another balanced budget!

In an ironic twist, GC school board president Jane Rath was in the audience during the borough council meeting. She was there to praise the actions of the GC firefighters, who fought a fire at her residence, saving her house.

Anyway, Mrs. Rath chose to sit right in front of Oakes. Council members and Oakes began to discuss the budget and praise the effort of keeping the budget in line. I can only imagine how she felt sitting there hearing how one of the two political groups in town continually works to keep taxes low.

In other words, the other group continually works to raise taxes. Simply put, they don't work at all on behalf of the taxpayer. That group is the school board. Jane Rath's school board.

Get ready for the next election. Want to make a real difference? Run for the school board and be the difference.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Grove City Borough Celebrates 25 Years of Balanced Budgets

Budget shows no increase for 2007

Borough manager Vance Oakes presented Council with a balanced budget for the 2007 fiscal year. The $3.61 million budget marked the 25th year without a tax increase.

“I’m proud to announce the current millage rate of four mills will remain the same for 2007,” said Oakes.

The last increase was a 3-mil hike in 1981 to cover the costs of the then-new police and fire station.

“There were a lot of people involved in the preparation of this budget,” said Oakes. “Everyone put in a great deal of consideration and hard work to keep it balanced.”

“We’re quite pleased with Vance’s efforts,” said council president George Pokrant. “He continued the work that residents have come to expect. The department heads and council members should also be commended for their efforts. We didn’t want a tax hike to ever be on the table.”

“Vance has done a great job of completing the budgeting process and managing our fiscal responsibilities for the first time,” said finance committee chair Beth Cooney. “I believe he will continue to be an asset to the borough and the council.”

During the budget process, the borough manager works with the department heads to create a first draft version of the budget based on projected operating needs. The borough council finance committee and long-range planning committee then gives input on the spending plan along with recommendations on major capital improvements. The borough manager incorporates those recommendations and presents a second draft of the budget to the finance committee for review and changes.

According to an estimate from the Mercer County Assessment office, the total assessed value of all taxable property in the borough for 2007 will be $48,283,850—up less than 1% from 2005.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mercer County Commissioners: No Tax Hike for 2007

Re-election efforts are underway in the Mercer County Commissioners' offices. For the second year in a row - and the last budget before re-election - the Gang of Three passed a balanced budget.

Amazing. Welcomed, but still amazing.

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
Commissioners Olivia M. Lazor and Brian Beader both said today there will be no tax hike.

Ms. Lazor, however, added officials will have to dip into the county’s nearly $6 million reserve fund in order to balance the budget. Neither she nor Beader were willing to disclose how much the county will be dipping into its reserves, or rainy day fund.

Commissioners cited health care cost increases of about 10 percent, salary increases of 2 to 3 percent and substantial shortfalls in state funding for human services as the primary reasons for dipping into the fund balance.
So, why complain about the commissioners for holding the line? The scary part comes when you look at the last few years:
Whatever property owners think of the absence of a tax increase, critics might argue the reserve was only available because of previous tax hikes from 2002 to 2005 that raised property taxes from 10.25 mills to 20.75, or a staggering 102 percent.
Residents should be outraged that there isn't a cut. We need a cut - a big one. When local school boards tag-team with the commishes and keep taxes going through the roof, people suffer. And it's time for it to stop.

Re-election is coming. Lazor will likely not run again. Michele Brooks will be replaced this month as she heads off to Harrisburg. Beader will want to give it another go - but he's up to his eyeballs in problems. Now is the time for change.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mercer County to get Republican Commissioner

Brooks' replacement to be decided by judges

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
State law requires county judges to name a replacement. Applicants must have been a registered Republican voter on Nov. 5, 2003 — the day Mrs. Brooks was elected — to be considered for the post. The new commissioner must be Republican to maintain the board’s current political makeup. The vacancy won’t be official until Mrs. Brooks resigns or joins the state legislature in January.

Fornelli said all four county judges, including Thomas R. Dobson, Christopher St. John and John C. Reed, will participate in choosing the new commissioner.

Fornelli said he’ll set a deadline for applications and set up an interview schedule. Fornelli said those interviews will be closed to the public.

Sadly, the public won't have a say in who replaces Brooks, much like the GOP party bosses blocked the public from knowing how Brooks was selected to replace retiring representative Rod Wilt.

The irony is that the Mercer County GOP bosses won't have a say in the selection. They are able to offer suggestions to the judges, but the judges, according to The Herald, do not have to follow that advice, nor are they likely to follow it.

The county is fortunate in that Brooks won election, so she will no longer be a commish - rubberstamping everything the Dems tell her. Unfortunately, in perfect Brooks fashion, she's backtracking from the word she gave the people.
Mrs. Brooks initially said Wednesday she planned to step down Nov. 30, ending her tenure as a commissioner almost three years into her four-year term. Later in the day she backed off the self-imposed deadline, saying she will serve in office as long as possible.
I'm sure the voters of the 17th are glad to have her....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mercer County and Pennsylvania Election Results

EDIT: Looking for November 2007 Election Results? Click here!

November 2006 Results:

To read the Mercer County election results, click here.

To read the Pennsylvania election results, click here.

To find out about your Pennsylvania county's election results, click here.

Analysis to come....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Santorum, Swann Lose Election Efforts

Fox News has called both races in favor of the Dems.

We conservatives now have a long haul before us in finding, promoting, and electing another conservative in the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous Democrat powerbase ready to run the state, so at best, we may get another Specter-like Senator.

Conveniently, my life isn't totally consumed by whether or not certain politicians are elected. It just means I plan on working harder to make sure liberty is advanced in the new PA world of socialism.

Onward and upward!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why I Support Rick Santorum

Simply put, Rick is a conservative. Is he the most conservative man in the world? No, but he is one of the most conservative in the US Senate. Pennsylvania needs him. The US needs him.

Rick clearly understands our national security struggles. He unapologetically supports the troops AND the mission. He knows all about international terrorism and can speak about it at length with true passion. Rick is fully aware that there is evil in the world and that evil is aimed at Americans simply because we're Americans.

Rick fights for the unborn. He has worked tirelessly to end the horrific partial birth abortion procedure. Yes, he has campaigned for pro-choice candidates, but Rick sees the big picture, which is my next point.

Rick is a strategist. He understands that you will not change American culture overnight. He recognizes that the liberals have been changing America toward socialism for the last 70 years. He knows who will be the best allies to make the changes. Sometimes that means reaching out to moderates in the party.

Rick is against wasteful spending. Sure, he has voted for some bloated budgets, but only after they were cut down from massive budgets. Sometimes pork-laden riders get tagged onto good bills, but Rick tends to support the good bills. Some call this selling out, but the system is flawed, not Rick. If the Congress worked as small towns (one item at a time), Rick would easily be one of the best fiscal conservatives in Congress.

Rick supports the Second Amendment. He fought the maddening rules and regulations that the Clinton administration tried to force upon the people. He fought the rediculous assaults on gun owners by the liberals in today's Democrat party. Rick continues the fight to this day. He understands the need for responsible gun ownership in a free society.

I urge fellow conservatives to go out and vote for Rick. He has a position of tremendous power in the Senate and can do great things for the Commonwealth and the country. He's a conservative. A good conservative. And he deserves your support.

Swann vs. Rendell

It's no doubt that Lynn Swann's handlers have run one of the worst campaigns in PA history. It took forever for Swann to declare his candidacy. When he finally did, he didn't say anything about his beliefs. Once he finally started talking about specifics, it was far too late.

Conservative pundits called him a puppet of the PAGOP. They called him a sham candidate not worthy of the office.

It's a shame, too. Swann is a great guy and he'd make a great leader. His handlers screwed this one up big time. Especially against a guy like Ed Rendell - the man who has taxed anything he could. The man who brought us corrupt gambling - before gambling has even started in the state! The man who has dragged our state down further than any thought possible. The man who worked with Algore to deny the military vote in Florida in 2000. How could you not beat Rendell?

Don't take your frustrations out on Swann. Take them out on Rendell. He's clearly the target and unfit for office. Swann deserves your vote. He's conservative - fiscally and socially. He's a successful businessman, instead of a corrupt career politician.

If you want a breath of fresh air, Swann is your man.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Found Guilty, Dems Depressed

The dictator at the top of Democrats' "love list" was found guilty of crimes against humanity today and sentenced to death by hanging.

Every person in the world with common sense is now thinking, "good riddance!"

Democrats are conflicted.

Do they say what is politically smart and rejoice at the verdict? Do they say what they want to say - something along the lines that Saddam was the best thing for Iraq and that Bush was unjust for doing this to him? Do they say what they are thinking, that Carl Rove told Iraq to end the trial right before the election to help the GOP? (Oh, yes - this excuse IS coming soon....)

Unfortunately for Dems, they have been on the wrong side of history for the entire Bush presidency. They focused on hating him instead of doing what was right. Going into Iraq was right. Getting Saddam was right. Sentincing him to death is right.

Instead of taking part of the American victory, they instead have to grumble and hope for the next American defeat. What a position to find oneself. They end up agreeing in principle with our enemies. You can take a quote from Al Qaida and match it perfectly with a quote from the Dem party.

The radical marxists from the 1960s want to take over Congress. Make no mistake about it - there is a lot at stake this election.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Troops Respond to John Kerry's Military Bashing

Once again, John Kerry has opened his mouth and firmly planted both feet in it. Once again, John Kerry has chosen to bash the men and women in America's military - the same soldiers who fight to give him the right to open his mouth in the first place.

In case you missed his comments, here they are:
...you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
Rightfully so, politicians have jumped on the comments. Even the Senate-hopeful lapdog, Bob Casey, pulled the plug on a Kerry appearance in Philly. Of course, Casey stuck up for him - and took his money. That's principled leadership!

Keep in mind this isn't the first time Kerry has bashed our troops. Upon returning from Vietnam, Kerry slandered his fellow soldiers by accusing them of committing atrocities. Recently, he complained that our soldiers in Iraq were terrorizing women and children in the middle of the night. This man has no shame - nor any love for our military. He's an elitist snob of the worst kind.

The good news is that the troops themselves have responded. This pic is floating all over the Internet, all over the world:

Great pic - I couldn't have thought of that. Kudos to our soldiers for not putting up with that garbage. Let's hope that the voting public remembers this and keeps the Dems out of power for at least the next two years. Vote GOP!