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Commissioner Ed Heasley: ‘Cutting operation costs rather than raising taxes is a challenge I accept.’

Sunday, January 13, 2019 @ 12:01 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

ed-heasleyCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clyde (Ed) Heasley, 65, a lifelong resident of Farmington Township, has announced his intention to seek reelection to the Democratic nomination for a four-year term as Clarion County Commissioner in the May 21 primary election and would appreciate your support.

He released the following statement:

My wife of 43 years, Darlene (Dolby) Heasley, and I have been a lifelong resident of Clarion County. We have two children, Matthew and his wife Jody, and Melissa Austen and her husband Scott, and a large extended family.

I have continually sought to improve myself since graduate from North Clarion High School and the International Union of Operating Engineers Apprentice Training Program. I’ve taken various accounting. business law, investment, and real estate classes at Clarion University and have participated in a number of continuing education courses and training. I am now completing my first term as Clarion County Commissioner and have successfully completed the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania Academy for Excellence in County Government certificate training program.

Being an active member of the community is important to me. I’m a distinguished lifetime member of the Farmington Township Volunteer Fire Company, volunteering for over 40 years. I have been a leader with the Boy Scouts of America for 33 years, a member of the Antler Club of Lucinda, the Fryburg Sportsmen’s Club, Olive Temple Masonic Lodge Valley of Coudersport Consistory, and Erie Zem Zem Shriners. I am also a member of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, having served on the Building Committee and Board of Trustees and currently serve on the Pastor Parish Relations Committee.

I know the importance of local government having served as a Farmington Township Supervisor for 12 years, a Township Auditor for six years, and a member of the Clarion County Association of Township Officials. For almost 30 years I was employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General Bureau as an audit supervisor. That position to help me gain a thorough understanding of how local Connie and governments interact and support each other.

The commissioners are entrusted with the advocacy and stewardship of the County’s operations. If re-elected, I pledge to continue to work together in the spirit of harmony, respect, and cooperation to be fiscally responsible and properly manage county government, operations, and properties. Since taking office in 2016, the county’s general fund year-end balance has increased by approximately $3.2 million, in part, as a result of administrative teamwork and numerous cost-cutting measures undertaken.

Additionally, we recently purchased the North Sixth Avenue building and refurbished that by using the county’s own maintenance department. It now has the county’s Probation Offices and District Court. This project will result in annual rent and utility savings to the taxpayers.

But there is more that we must work on:

• County governments as well school districts and municipalities of federal and state under unfunded mandates which they are forced to finance. We must all work together with state and federal elected officials to prevent unfunded mandates.

• It is very important that all county departments and agencies operate as efficiently and effectively as possible within their budgetary limits. Cutting operation costs rather than raising taxes is more of a challenge and that is the challenge I accept. We must continue to use tax dollars wisely and avoid unnecessary and wasteful spending.

• Many of our younger residents are forced to move away to find jobs. We must work at every level of government with employers to maintain and create employment opportunities.

• The maintenance of many county-owned buildings has been neglected. The current Board of Commissioners has made many improvements without raising taxes, but there’s still a lot to do.

I look forward to addressing these and other issues important to Clarion County in the coming years.

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