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New Cumberland Borough Council candidates

Pictured top from left, Kevin Hall, Robert Hasemeier and Robert Kline; and pictured bottom from left, Blair Lawrence, Tim Schaeffer and Matthew Stoner.

There are four seats open on the New Cumberland Borough Council, and six candidates are on the ballot vying for those seats. Here is information on those candidates:

Kevin Hall

Party: Republican

Age: 31

Residence: New Cumberland

Occupation: attorney with Tucker Arensberg, P.C.

What issue would you like to address as a borough council member?

“Cumberland County is one of the fastest growing counties in the country. With its proximity to Harrisburg, and as a gateway to both York County and the West Shore, New Cumberland is well positioned to take full advantage of the growth impacting other areas of the county. As a borough council member, it is important that we continue to look for opportunities to create efficiencies by working with other municipalities to keep costs down for taxpayers. At the same time, we need to be thinking about ways to stay competitive and attract a stable tax base of businesses and families who are looking for all of the municipal services and recreational opportunities of a larger town, while still desiring the small borough feel that makes New Cumberland special. These are the issues that have driven me to become a member of borough council, and they are ones that I hope to continue to have the privilege to focus on moving forward.”

Robert Hasemeier

Party: Democrat

Age: 66

Residence: New Cumberland

Education: master’s in sanitary engineering; bachelor’s in civil engineering; associate’s in engineering science

Occupation: civil and environmental engineer, licensed professional engineer; consultant engineer to government agencies and private industry

What issue would you like to address as a borough council member?

“Issues (I’d like) to be addressed at New Cumberland in the next 5 to 10 years: 1) Changing community: New Cumberland is at a great geographical location in the capital region with good schools for families. Different generations and different wants create opportunities to revitalize the borough. 2) Police & Fire: Duties increase and funding for these services is stagnant. Further, fundraising efforts by the volunteer fire department is distraction from the mission to protect New Cumberland. 3) Succession planning: Several staff in key positions in New Cumberland are held by senior individuals. One key person is the borough manager who is eligible to retire. This is a critical position since the manager is the primary individual to keep the borough operating smoothly, but also is critical in controlling compliance with the budget. I for one think that action is required to train a successor while the knowledge is still present. 4) Mobility: New Cumberland offers several opportunities to get around town with Bridge Street being a PennDOT designated state bike trail. Our mobility is frequently interrupted by traffic issues on Interstate 83 since the borough has one of the few options for parallel travel. Our future enjoyment of the borough is tied to a successful rework of I-83, and the borough needs to be involved with PennDOT to minimize filling our streets with commuters.

Blair Lawrence

Party: Democratic

Age: 31

Residence: New Cumberland

Education: bachelor’s in History, minors in international studies and communications/journalism

Occupation: research editor

What issue would you like to address as a borough council member?

“As a council member, I’d like to address revitalization. Our borough is home to great businesses, but we have several empty storefronts, which detracts from the overall charm of New Cumberland. Council alone cannot solve this problem, but we can take some creative steps to make New Cumberland more attractive to prospective businesses and residents. I’ve been reading a lot about tactical urbanism lately – the idea that citizens, organizations and local government can collaborate in a DIY approach to place-making. Through low-cost projects and strong marketing, we can advance longer-term goals (e.g., bikeability/walkability, pop-up restaurants). Each council member receives a $900 annual stipend. I’d like to pledge mine to create a Community Grant Program, which would be available to citizens for proposals and voting on community initiatives. In the beginning, we could focus on smaller projects (like new basketball hoops), but perhaps with the support of other council members, we could move to larger projects. This is one way to make a business case to investors without using money that’s already been raised for revitalization. By making New Cumberland an example of innovative place-making, we can confront some of the challenges that we’re facing and attract new businesses, investors, and residents.”

Robert P. Kline

Party: Republican

Age: 52

Residence: New Cumberland

Education: graduate of Trinity High School; Bachelor’s from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia; juris doctor from The T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond, Virginia

Occupation: Attorney

Robert Kline did not return a response to The Sentinel’s election question.

Timothy Schaeffer

Party: Republican

Age: 48

Residence: New Cumberland

Education: graduate of Cedar Cliff High School; Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College; Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University; juris doctor from Syracuse University; doctorate from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

What issue would you like to address as a borough council member?

“The following issues will be among my initial top priorities as a New Cumberland Borough Council member: code enforcement and property maintenance, addressing the rapid loss of mature trees throughout the borough, maximizing recreation assets and amenities for all ages, downtown revitalization, supporting the borough’s first responders and working with the West Shore School District on the future of the New Cumberland Middle School site. These issues were some of the most commonly cited concerns of borough residents I have met in the past several months while walking door-to-door. At the same time, I will work to promote a sense of pride and civic engagement among the residents, businesses, churches, schools, clubs, service organizations and youth sports leagues that collectively contribute to the quality of life in New Cumberland.”

Matthew Stoner

Party: Republican

Age: 40

Residence: New Cumberland

Education: graduate of Cedar Cliff High School; graduate of Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School

Occupation: Chief Deputy Coroner in the Cumberland County Coroner’s Office; current borough council member; volunteer commander with New Cumberland River Rescue; member of New Cumberland and Fairview Township fire departments

What issue would you like to address as a borough council member?

“As a councilman for New Cumberland I would continue to work to make New Cumberland a place where people want to live. In working to make that happen, I will work with the revitalization committee to bring businesses back to the borough, as well as continue to support the need for a codes enforcement officer to manage rental properties and maintain the beauty of the borough. This is a team effort, and community involvement is needed to make this happen.”

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