“We’d like to manage the growth of Erie in the way the citizens see fit,” Fred Mahe told YS. With a few years on the Planning Commission and Tree Board behind him—and a career in the private sector to boot—Mahe hopes he’s the one to guide that growth. “There’s no reason that we couldn’t bring a couple small to medium sized firms tech firms here.”
Robb James’ business experience includes a startup with 31 locations in grocery chains, which he sold after three years. He’s happy about Colliers Hill & Summerfield, because they will mean more financial stability and growth in the next year, and believes his clear communication and vision along with expertise will further economic development.
A former local news anchor, community outreach is Mike Mazzocco’s bread and butter. “Get the neighbors involved,” Mike recommended regarding developer-resident conflicts, adding that reaching the public via social media can stop the pesky rumor mill that overshadows municipal decisions. Pressing the need for a new police station and primary employers, Mike prophetically added, “The future of Erie is going to be in large part settled by this election.”
YS endorses Mazzocco for championing community outreach and diffusing tensions between developers and residents.
Though he’s a political outsider, Bill Gippe has helped the county’s people as much as anyone, with his non-profit law firm. “We’re one of the very few law firms in the state that works on a sliding scale basis,” he said. Frustrated by political infighting, Gippe entered the race out of a sense of obligation. “The focus wasn’t where it needed to be to make the proper determinations for the town. That’s all I want to do.”
In a bold electoral prediction, Schutt told YS, “I think this year there’s going to be a complete change of board.” As a newcomer to the scene, he can only hope he’s right. Schutt wants an end to residential developer rebates, a focus on Old Town development, easier access to municipal information, and to bring medium- and high-density housing.
Diving into what he calls his first political foray, Scott Charles prioritizes Erie’s needs before the town’s wants. He is all for spending money on things that make Erie a fun and attractive place to live, but he recognizes a need to invest in things like a new police station. By utilizing lessons he’s picked up from his varied business experiences (working for Apple and his current electronics training development venture), Charles plans to foster an environment on the board where people hear each other out and come together to make decisions, despite their differences.
An Erie resident of over thirty years, Kim Tuck’s philosophy is that it takes someone who is one of the people to be able to help the people. He says the board is divided for two basic reasons: differing personalities and philosophies. But he’s adamant that progress can be made by having someone like himself who is anxious to hold a hand out for people to take.
Young and energetic, Jennifer Kramer knows a lot about navigating through waters full of bigger fish. For the last four years, she’s served in a chair position of the IEEE (Institute for Electrical Electronics Engineers), where she has represented the needs and differing viewpoints of over 10,000 members in a male-dominated profession. She’d like to see Erie grow in a way that feels cohesive, so that as new companies move into town, the board would help them find the best location that is agreeable to residents while simultaneously profitable for the business.
YS endorses Kramer for bringing a new voice to the Board, informed by unique engineering leadership experience.
Right now Erie’s police department and municipal court both work out of a quaint 2,400-square-foot space in Town Hall. 2A proposes to build a more spacious 18,000-square-foot police and public safety headquarters at the corner of County Line Road and Telleen Avenue. The question here isn’t merely whether or not the $6.2 million project should be built, but also if it should be paid for by raising the levy on each $100,000 value of Erie homes by $12.30 per year.