Fred Ziegler expected to spend his retirement years hunting and fishing. Instead, the former police chief in Douglass (Mont.) Township took a job with added responsibility and paperwork.Ziegler, currently in charge of the extraditions for the Montgomery County District Attorney, hopes to add township supervisor to his resume.
The 54-year-old believes name recognition will give him the edge over attorney H. Chris Crocker, his Republican opponent in the May 15 primary election.
Albert Van Anglen is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket.
One of the candidates will replace Mark Austerberry, who is vacating his seat on the board of supervisors to run for Boyertown Area School Board.
Ziegler, who hired a campaign manager, has promised to expand the municipality's open space. He claims responsibility for helping to preserve every acre in the township.
"I talked to the landowners," Ziegler said. "I made sure the appraisals were done. I got the money from the county."
The candidate also vowed to immediately prevent Daniel Hunsicker from "dumping and spreading sludge" on his farm on Congo-Niantic Road.
To control development and attract business along the Route 100 corridor, Ziegler would create an economic development council.
His other initiatives include finding a permanent resolution to the dispute between the Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue Company and the Gilbertsville Fire Company No. 1, expand training programs for the municipality's first responders and work to make the township more efficient.
In his office by 6 a.m. most weekdays, Ziegler is responsible for all prisoner extraditions into the county. He spends more time filling out paperwork now then as the police chief.
Recently his department extradited a man charged with the murder of a Stowe woman from Virginia.
"I'm busier now than I was before," said Ziegler. He said he would refuse the yearly $2,500 stipend for supervisors if elected.
Van Anglen, a former township auditor, said he would work to maintain the municipality's police, fire and emergency management services, which he calls "top notch."
Van Anglen also wants to help repair the relationship between the Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue Co. and the Gilbertsville No. 1. The two officially severed ties in April of 2005, but have begun a reconciliation process.
Van Anglen supports Senate Resolution 60, a blueprint for the funding of fire departments in Pennsylvania throughout mergers and regionalization as long as the fire fighters support it.
"For the volunteers who put their lives on the line, the supervisors have the responsibility to make sure the fire department is fully funded," he said.
Claiming the township should monitor what Hunsicker spreads on his farm more closely, Van Anglen proposed training township officials to inspect the farm and ease the responsibility on the state Department of Environmental Protection.
"We'll do it for them," he said. "The DEP has good rules that are well researched. However I don't want to put any more restrictions on good farmers."
Contact reporter Bradley Schlegel at 610-367-6041, ext. 240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.