Primary Election? What Primary Election?

DemocracyThere is an eerie silence associated the May 21st Primary. As of this moment, there has been zero news coverage on either the Octorara or Parkesburg races, except when I announced my candidacy, for School Director, at a school board meeting in March. Also, neither the borough’s local events nor the school district’s calendars even mention it.  Why do you think that is?

I’ve talked to some people who had no idea there was an election this year. National elections make so much noise that people can’t ignore them. However, these small-town municipal elections can come an go without notice.

Take a good look at the sample ballots for your area.

In Parkesburg, there are four seats up in council… four are running, all incumbents, and for them the election may be just a technicality. Any Democrats that want to run for council only need to write themselves in, because there is no one from the opposing party.

Parkesburg’s Mayoral race may heat up after the primary, one person is running for each party’s nomination unopposed. It appears incumbent John Hagan (Dem) will be challenged in November by Joseph Rzonca (Rep). I’m surprised by the number of people who don’t even know we have a mayor.

Octorara’s Region 2 has two seats available, but only one person running… incumbent Samuel Ganow. I encourage people who would like to serve on the school board to simply write your name in on the ballot, and have your friends do the same. One vote is all it takes to grab that second seat.

In Octorara’s Region 3, at least we have 3 people running for 2 seats.. The one incumbent running in Region 3 is Nelson Stoltzfus. The other candidates are Timothy Alexander (me) and Frank Dangelo. At least with Region 3 we have some semblance of choice, and some uncertainty to the outcome.

Frank Dangelo will only be listed on the Republican primary ballot. Someone must have forgot to tell him he could run on both, but he can easily be written in on the Democrat ballot if you are dissatisfied with one or both of the other candidates. Remember, you can vote for two people for School Director because two seats are available.

I have no idea what Mr Dangelo’s position in on the issues facing the school district. Is he a fiscal conservative? I don’t know. I have not heard him speak up or speak out at school board meetings, nor have I read any commentary written by him. All I can say with certainty is he is not an incumbent.

If you never voted in an off-year election, now is a good time to start. If you ever thought of running for public office, maybe you should consider writing your name in somewhere on the ballot… and ask a few friends to vote for you… just make sure everyone spells your name exactly the same.

Since I started getting involved, the attitude I have noticed coming from some of the area’s political class is that the only people who are important are the few who pay attention to local politics on a regular basis. The rest of us get characterized as lazy and apathetic, more interested in American Idol than actual doing anything. Some are unwilling to listen to a taxpayers concerns unless they have seen your face at a meeting for that past x-number of years. That is not how things should be.


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