Eight candidates are vying for four seats on the 6-1 Republican-controlled Hatboro Borough Council.
Residents can "meet" them all through profiles posted (alphabetically by last name) here on Patch. (Click here to see Patricia Fleming's profile, here to see Michael Gorn's profile, here to see Toni Kistner's profile, here to see Marty Palmer's profile, here to see Bill Tompkins' profile, here to see Ray Wallrath's profile, or here to see John Zygmont's profile).
THOMAS E. HARBAUGH, 55, who's lived in Hatboro since 1988, holds a Bachelor of Science in finance degree from Penn State University. He's worked at Miller and Cornell Insurance Agency since 1985, serving as owner and president since 2005. He was appointed to the Hatboro Borough Council in August to finish the term of Councilman Vincent LaSorsa.
Harbaugh has served on the board of directors for Hatboro Federal Savings since 2005; on the Hatboro Borough Authority since 2012; and on the Hatboro Area YMCA board since 1988, as finance chairman since 1998.
Since 1998 Harbaugh has been a Hatboro Little League board member, serving as treasurer from 2001-2013. He has been a Hatboro Rotary Club member since 1988 and a Greater Hatboro Chamber of Commerce board member since 1990.
What best qualifies you for a term on the Hatboro Borough Council?
I believe that my educational background, my work experience of owning and operating my own business, my record of community service with many local organizations and my current experience as a member of Hatboro Borough Council make be very qualified to be elected to serve on Borough Council.
What do you see as the big issues facing the town?
The major challenge that faces our borough is how to provide the best quality services and facilities for our residents and businesses without creating too much of a financial burden for taxpayers so that Hatboro continues to be a great place to live, raise a family and have a business.
If elected, how would you work to handle those issues?
I would use my knowledge and experience to evaluate options to maximize our tax base where it makes sense so we can maintain the excellent services that our residents deserve and be able to improve them where feasible for maximum benefit for the greatest number of residents and businesses.
What do you see as the best approach to dealing with the borough’s shortage of building space (i.e. police and public works) and need to renovate/update those buildings?
There's no question that some of our building space has to be renovated and reorganized. The best option will be selected after completely evaluating all options and obtaining opinions from our staff, consultants and a committee of residents. This is the current approach and the correct one in my opinion.
What’s your vision for Main Street and how would
you, as a council member, help the borough realize that vision?
A thriving Main Street is vital for all residents so property values increase and taxes stay affordable. We are moving in the right direction as the number of store vacancies has decreased. Council has a part in the process by working with the business community to achieve mutually beneficial goals.
How can council work to preserve Hatboro’s
history and its historic buildings?
Hatboro has a long rich history that deserves to be preserved and commemorated when possible. However Council has to be mindful if considering a historical preservation ordinance that the property owner’s rights have to be considered. Historical ordinances have to be very carefully thought out and are difficult to implement.
As Hatboro redefines itself through redevelopments such as Station Park and the planned reuse of the former Cosmopolitan Motors, what do you see as the borough’s future and how can elected officials work to shape that?
With only one square mile within the borough’s borders, we have to thoughtfully evaluate development opportunities that present themselves but make sure that the interests of the entire community are considered. As elected officials we need to assess our zoning codes and stay current with trends that could benefit us.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Hatboro is a tremendous town that I am thankful to have been able to reside in for 25 years. I am committed to doing my part to make it an even better place to live and work. I truly hope that I am elected to Borough Council on Nov. 5.
Related: Patricia Fleming
Related: Michael Gorn
Related: Toni Kistner
Related: Marty Palmer
Related: Bill Tompkins
Related: Ray Wallrath