Please provide a biographical narrative.
I was born and raised in DuBois. I graduated from the DuBois Central Catholic High School in 1964.
I earned my undergraduate degrees in behavioral science and accounting/business administration and a Master’s degree in management science.
I was awarded multiple certifications, including ISO 9001:2000 lead auditor and facilities security officer. I was trained in Six Sigma.
I am married to the former Carol Dunlap and have three sons, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
I had two separate careers with 20 years in banking and 27 years in federal contracting. As a banker, I worked as an executive vice president/controller.
While working in federal contracting, I worked as a financial officer and project manager.
In both careers, my duties included the management of companies, financial reporting, budget preparation and the management of thousands of employees and both large and small companies. I retired in February of 2014.
As a member of the Treasure Lake Lions Club, I have served as an officer for more than 10 years and presently as the first vice president. During my tenure in the Treasure Lake Lions Club, I received the Melvin Jones Fellowship for Dedicated Humanitarian Services Award, the highest recognition in the Lions International organization.
I am also a member of the Treasure Lake Sportsmen’s Club, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, National Rifle Association and executive board of the Bucktail Council Boy Scouts of America.
What motivated your interest in running for Clearfield County Commissioner?
I am running for county commissioner because the residents of Clearfield County deserve strong, experienced leadership, which will provide quality basic governmental services to all residents.
What qualifications do you possess that would benefit the Clearfield County Commissioners’ Office?
During my work experience, my education, training and leadership development helped me to earn a reputation as a trusted manager who could always be depended on to get the job done.
In my lifetime of dealing with family, friends, associates, employers and employees, I have always conducted myself with the same set of values: hard work, honesty, responsibility and respect for the rights and considerations of others.
While working, I earned three college degrees, achieved multiple professional certifications and completed advanced training in quality improvement. I am prepared to provide professional leadership to Clearfield County.
Government transparency has been a buzzword in politics for the past few years. Do you feel that the county is transparent enough? If not, what needs to change?
Clearfield County Government is not transparent enough. The county uses a Web site to post the minutes of the commissioners’ meetings. When you look at the minutes of the commissioners’ meetings, they are not posted timely and sometimes incomplete.
I have always maintained an “Open Door” policy and will be available for all residents. I am retired and have no business interests that will interfere with my duties as commissioner.
As a commissioner, I will look for ways to use technology so that residents can view the commissioners’ meetings at their convenience and not have to make special trips to Clearfield to attend meetings.
If elected, how would you reach out and form relationships with citizens of Clearfield County? How would you reach out to those citizens in the outlying areas of the county?
I was successful in my business career in developing relationships with other businesses, customers and employees.
As a project manager, I had a region that included the eastern United States from Maine to Puerto Rico and west to the Mississippi River. I used broadcast messages via e-mail to keep all parties informed. I held meetings with local management, built teams and joint ventures.
As commissioner, I will contact the City of DuBois and all boroughs and townships to build a network to share information. I will also reach out to service organizations and fire departments and visit them frequently.
If elected, what measures would you take to ensure the efficient operation of Clearfield County?
My work experience included certification as an ISO 9000:2001 lead auditor and trained in Six Sigma. As a commissioner, I will pursue measures to improve existing processes, introduce policy and processes where needed and advance customer service to the county.
What is your opinion on regionalization of government positions, police forces, etc. within Clearfield County?
When elected commissioner, I will immediately join, and be active in, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), so that I can learn and share what is happening in other counties.
There is no simple answer to regionalization; however, there are resources available to use in determining whether regionalization is called for and if so how to do it correctly.
I have always been proactive and a planner. I know the value in taking your time to plan something to ensure success versus rushing into something and ensuring failure.
I take emergency preparedness very seriously and will do my utmost to protect the residents of Clearfield County.
If elected, what measures would you take to generate economic development opportunities for Clearfield County?
My work in federal contracting gave me the opportunity to successfully build teams and joint ventures to win contracts, increase revenue and create jobs.
I was able to partner companies using the capabilities of one company to compliment the deficiencies of another; the result was a strong winning unit.
Some of the capabilities included special advantages granted for location or ownership, and the same advantages could be used by companies in Clearfield County.
The county cannot afford to lose existing employers and we must help existing businesses. As a commissioner, I will work to promote the advantages that Clearfield County has to offer, grow existing businesses, attract new businesses and encourage start-up businesses.
I want to make Clearfield County an enterprise marketplace and grow the economy.
If elected, what would be your top priority as Clearfield County Commissioner?
Although there are many areas that I will address as a county commissioner, the first item of business is unemployment. Without a doubt, the biggest problem facing the residents of Clearfield County is unemployment. The national unemployment rate is 5.5 percent and the unemployment rate in Clearfield County is 7.6 percent; we must do better than that.
What are the greatest challenges facing Clearfield County? If elected, what measures would you propose to resolve them?
There are many challenges facing Clearfield County: unemployment, budget, helping our veterans and providing for our elderly citizens just to name a few.
We must work to reduce unemployment and to do so we need business opportunities.
The opportunities are needed for existing companies, attraction of new companies and the encouragement of start-up companies. I will work with federal and state representatives, build employer work groups and bring out the synergy to increase economic development.
The budget must be continually monitored and economies explored. My agenda will include establishing a formal vetting process for reviewing new contracts. My budget experience is working with both small and large multi-million dollar budgets. I never accept an item just because “we have always done it before;” I will ask for justification of the line item.
Our veterans must be welcomed home and given all of the support and information needed to transition into civilian life. Families and caregivers need to have immediate access to all of the information needed to help the elderly.
Veterans, families and caregivers should not have to go through the frustration that is encountered when trying to learn about benefits that they are due, and not be left to discovering benefits.
I will work to develop an informational packet for all benefits available and simplify the applications process for all benefits. Our veterans need to be welcomed home with a package of discounts from the business community and business cards from prospective employers.
I will encourage the Clearfield County agencies to be pro-active in promoting their services by utilizing outreach programs.