Evening Sun Reporter
10/28/2003 - Liberty
Township supervisor Charles Alexander was
running for re-election unopposed in the
Nov. 4 election until Paul Harner decided to
run a write-in campaign a few weeks ago.
Harner's main reason
for seeking the six-year supervisor seat?
He opposes a
1,140-home planned residential development
that could triple the township's population
"It doesn't retain a
rural area and it doesn't help the
environment there," he said. " It's a
suburb. It will result in major
Alexander, a plumber
and a farmer, has served as a supervisor
since 1998. Prior to becoming a supervisor,
he was a member of the Fairfield Area School
District board for eight years.
He said he decided
to seek re-election because "I serve with
Mr. (Leonard) Sites and Mr. (John) Miller,
and we've always got along reasonable."
Harner, a retired
aeronautical engineer, decided to run a
write-in campaign in early October. If
elected, he said he'd like to update the
township's zoning ordinance to eliminate
planned residential developments to ensure
Liberty Township retains a rural
Last week the
township's planning commission voted 3-2 to
recommend supervisors eliminate that type of
development from the current zoning rules.
rural area does not need planned residential
developments," Harner said.
candidate said the supervisors must make
decisions on upcoming developments based on
whether the plan complies with the zoning
ordinance, not just their opinions.
And Harner said the
plan for the Community of Liberty the
1,140-unit housing development does not
meet the zoning ordinance.
Alexander said he
wouldn't be upset "one bit" if plans for the
proposed development stop or proceed. But he
said he believes the development will be
"Paul Harner can't
stop it," he said. "I don't care who's
elected. You can't stop it. They already
spent too much money. As long as they're in
the law, there's nothing you can do.
"What upsets me is
people doing all the complaining are
newcomers," said Alexander, who has lived in
the township since 1940.
But Harner said he
doesn't fit that characterization.
"I'm not one of
those outsiders who come in and want to
change things," said Harner, who moved back
to his wife's family's farm in 1981.
In addition to
keeping planned residential developments out
of the township, Harner also would like to
adopt a uniform building code for the
township to assure new buildings are
structurally sound, keep taxes reasonable
and put the public's welfare first.
"Also, I want open
communication," he said. "Township
supervisors should let people know about
what's going on."
mailing municipal news to the residents
monthly or bi-monthly. While campaigning, he
said he has found a lot of people with
questions about township business.
"They don't know
what's going on," he said.
sending out more information than the
township's newsletter would be expensive.
"A lot of people ask
me, Why are you wasting money on the
newsletter?'" he said.
The public should
attend the township's meetings to learn
what's happening, Alexander said.
wanted to make clear he is not a financial
partner with his son, Randy Alexander, who
is drilling wells for the developer who
plans to build the Community of Liberty.
Harner said in
addition to his administrative background
and communication skills, he knows how to
make, read and meet a budget. In 1991, he
won a distinguished executive award from
former President George Bush.
"I have never run
(for election) or assisted with the
administration of a township. However, my
background is certainly something that would
help in this area," Harner said.
Alexander said he is
the most qualified candidate because he
knows the township's rules and road
equipment as well as the people, and he's
attended township meetings for years.
"I have never made a
hardship for anybody in the last term," he
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