Democratic candidate Kevin S. Barnhardt of Sinking Spring is among many running for Berks County Commissioner. Barnhardt is currently running against Thomas W. Gajewski Sr. (Dem. Wyomissing), Mark C. Scott (Rep. Boyertown), and Christian Y. Leinbach (Rep. Hamburg).According to The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, the purpose of the county commissioner is to manage the county, set policies, determine how much money is spent on programs and services and set real estate tax rates.
Barnhardt, who is currently employed at Associated Wholesalers Inc., Robesonia as the inventory and systems manager, as spent a number of years involved in Berks County politics.
Barnhardt, who is originally from Reading, was on the West Reading Borough Council from 1982-97, was West Reading's mayor from 1998-2006, was Berks County Democratic Party chairman from 1988-90, is the West Reading Main Street Foundation chairman, and is on the West Reading Centennial Committee chairman.
"I have combined around 24 years in West Reading," said Barnhardt.
Barnhardt got his start in this field at the age of 23, when he was asked to serve on the West Reading Borough Council.
"I love my job but I am passionate about government service. I have always been passionate about local government."
He said this public service and a "noble calling." He is running for the county commissioner position so he can see the positive changes that take place. "At the local level you can see the changes in the community more so than at he state and federal level."
Barnhardt is dedicated to farm land preserving and he says that if he is elected he plans to use state and county funds to promote preservation.
With his experience in the borough of West Reading's Main Street and Elm Street programs is also planning to redevelopment and revitalization other areas of the county if elected.
"Urban sprawl without safe guards has a negative effect on natural resources, traffic, pollution and a huge impact on property taxes. As commissioner the vision of what the county will be for the next generations is vitally important. Foster economic development, and work regionally on issues of public safety." (Quote complied by The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania).