Monday, May 01, 2006


Issue 8 ----- Environment versus Development

Candidates Express Their the Protecting the Environment and Development

We asked the candidates for their responses to 13 questions. Over the next few days, we will post their answers. We put the candidates names in the blogomatic candidate randomization selector, so the order of their answers is totally random. Here's the eighth of our questions.

Pike and Wayne County are the two fastest growing counties in Pennsylvania. How would you protect the environment and still allow residential and commercial improvements?


I have a visible track-record of promoting commercial and industrial development without sacrificing open space that is so much a part of our heritage. I will continue to protect farmland and greenspace from suburban sprawl and overzealous development. I support conservation programs, such as the Pennsylvania Greenways program, Growing Greener, and the Easement Purchase Program. I will be supportive of initiatives which preserve and protect our lands and waters for fishing, hiking, and farming.


As you can see by my earlier answers, I think that the General Assembly needs to provide leadership. These counties and their municipalities need guidance for planning . Currently, individual municipalities control growth within their boundaries. The state should be encouraging regionalization to allow municipalities to jointly address these issues.


Bigus did not respond to our questionnaire, but here's some stuff we took from his website on a similar issue. There needs to be more programs for farmers. The family farm is fading rapidly. There may be a chance to support our current family farms and provide programming to keep them in operation.


The growing population has caused property values to go up, which puts farmland at risk. A farmer in Wayne County could make more off of selling his land than farming it. This puts our economy at risk when farms leave. To preserve farmland, we need to encourage alternative energy sites which will make acreage more profitable. This includes windfarms and farmer owned ethanol plants. The community can grow while we keep farmland open.


I believe elimination of property taxes is the single most significant move we can make to balance the need to protect the environment and preserve private property rights while still allow for normal growth and development. Private efforts at preservation, like the North Branch Land Trust, of which I am a member, also hold significant promise in this regard. We need to take responsibility for our own future.


These decisions must be made by the local communities, but state government can take a lead by encouraging municipal cooperation, including comprehensive regional planning, multi-municipal zoning and other smart growth policies.

I will work to give local governments the tools and incentives to work together in dealing with these issues. Many pit development versus the environment; however, I truly believe that you can do right by both with greater municipal cooperation, planning and consensus building.

Did I read this right, or is Baker's stance the state government has no role in protecting the environment or making commercial improvements?
I'm giving my backing to Haggerty now. I am very upset at learning Lisa is giving away my tools to local governments. I never gave her permission to do that. It's hard to build things without tools.
Bob, who haven't you endorsed in this race???
I haven't endorsed Bigus, although he knows how to work with two by fours. I also haven't endorsed Sutton, but I will if Haggerty disappoints me. I could go back to Madeira, that's still a possibility.
Whatever happened to private property rights? Government should have almost no say in how you use your property. And as for "losing the family farm", so what. If I'm a farmer and someone offers to buy my farm for $10 million for a developement, Cha Ching! See ya John Deere and hello Mercedes-Benz!
Bobthebuilder, you thought you were upset when Baker wanted to give away your tools to the government?!?
Wait til Haggerty takes away your property to make way for a private developer who can make the state more tax revenue...
You could go to Bigus, but he wants to tax that big SUV you use to haul around those tools Lisa wants to take away from you, to the property you no longer have, because Haggert gave it to someone else.

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