J. Barry Abbott Sr. has announced his bid to seek the Republican nomination for Clearfield County Commissioner.
Abbott was born and raised in Philipsburg. He returned to his hometown after college, where he taught, coached and was the athletic director at the Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School for 18 years.
He attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania for his Bachelor’s degree, Penn State University for his Master’s degree in education administration and St. Bonaventure University for his K-12 Principals Certification.
Abbott retired as a classroom teacher with 38 years in public education from the DuBois Area School District.
He grew up in the Moshannon Valley where he still has many friends and relatives.
He is married to Karen Abbott, a registered nurse working at the DuBois Penn Highlands Emergency Room. They will have been married for 44 years in April. He and his wife have three grown children and seven grandchildren
Abbott was awarded “Teacher of the Year” by the Clearfield County Conservation Group, Sports Official of the Year in Pennsylvania for baseball, Division I women’s basketball official and PIAA official in football, basketball, baseball and track. He has been a sports official for more than 44 years and worked many play-off and state title games.
He is a member of the Philipsburg Elks, Athletic Club and a life member of the Bald Eagle Fraternal Order of Police and of the Hope Fire Company. He was the past president of the Moshannon Valley YMCA and a past Treasure Lake board member serving as vice president. He is also the owner of a small business, Abbott Investigation and Courier Service.
“As county commissioner, I will focus on the reduction of the county’s unemployment,” said Abbott. “I will concentrate my efforts on unification of the county, boroughs, cities and townships.
“I will be in tune with the wants and needs of our county’s villages, towns and cities. I promise to cooperate with and work in conjunction with our community leaders (including mayors, city managers, township supervisors, police and firemen).
“I will encourage cities and townships to share sources, such as regional police forces, governmental positions and where the need arises encourage communities to combine into one.
“For example, I would encourage Clearfield and Lawrence Township to investigate and become one city, one local government. I would encourage DuBois and Sandy Township to do the same.
“As commissioner, I will also focus on keeping department heads up-to-date on activities within the county by hold bimonthly meetings. Also, it is imperative that our county employees are given the opportunity to have family sustaining salary and benefit packages to help stabilize the county investment in their productivity.
“I will work very hard to keep our elderly safe and secure. I will strive to make our county a place where our grandchildren want to come back to and raise their families.
“I will try to convince other commissioners to hold county meetings at various locations throughout the county to improve attendance and awareness of the role of the county government.
“Finally, my number one priority is to make our courthouse secure and safe using every means available so our workers, visitors, judges and attorneys can go about their business without fear.
“These satellite meetings will help make our county government business more open and transparent.”
Abbott added, “Clearfield County‘s timber and coal, was and continues to fuel our nation, and help build homes. Now our nation turns to us again to help heat homes, fuel our vehicles, and help the job market through Marcellus Shale drilling.
“Each of our fossil fuels has taken our natural resources out of our county and developed job and economic development far away from Clearfield County. Clearfield County needs to learn from our past and look to the future when taping into this expansive gas resource.
“The hard part is the solution. Your next Clearfield County Commissioner needs to be a problem solver, problem seeker, not just part of the problem offering senseless rhetoric.
“We cannot produce family sustaining jobs while paying our own workers nearly minimum wages. I will not pay an out-of-county attorney firm thousands of dollars to settle contract disputes. Again, be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
“Drilling for the Marcellus Shale is but one side of the coin, the other is for the county to seek reimbursement for the resources and monies leaving and not staying within our county borders.”