Incumbents running unopposed in USC
All Upper St. Clair Township incumbent school board members and commissioners who are running for re-election on Nov. 5 are running unopposed, and one candidate is unopposed in a bid for a seat being vacated by a commissioner who chose not to run.
Republican Rex Waller is running unopposed for the Ward 2 seat that has been held for the past two years by Donald Rectenwald Jr. Rectenwald was appointed to the seat in early 2012 to fill the unexpired term of Mark Hamilton, who resigned after moving his primary residence to the Ligonier area.
Waller says the most important issue facing the township is “the development of the 10-year plan during 2014.”
Republican Mark Christie is running unopposed for reelection to his Ward 4 seat. Republican Daniel Paoly is running unopposed for reelection to his at-large seat on the commissioners.
Commissioners in Upper St. Clair Township serve for 4-year terms, as do members of the school board.
Incumbent school board members Harry Kunselman, Frank Kerber, Beth “Buffy” Hasco and vice president Louis Mafrice Jr. are all running unopposed for reelection to their seats.
Hasco has served on the board for two years, having been appointed in early 2012 to fill the unexpired term of Bruce Kerman, who died while in office.
All four incumbant school board members crossfiled on both the Republican and Democratic tickets.
Kerber said in an e-mail: “In my opinion the most important issue facing the school district this year and in the near future is the budget. Public schools have been hit hard by dramatic decreases in support from Harrisburg.
“In addition, the PSERS retirement system will be making significant claims on the resources of public school districts across the state. Our options are limited. …During the coming months the board will be working closely with the Upper St. Clair administration to examine every expenditure in the district program and to decide on the best options for dealing with our budgetary issues.”
Mafrice said in an e-mail: “The most urgent issue currently facing the school board is federal and state government funding of the public school system, including our school district. Funding impacts on all programs.
“Certainly we would like to find sources of revenue outside of the local taxpayers in order to retain our quality programs for the benefit of all our students who will one day make contributions of their own to the community at large.”
Kunselman said in an e-mail: “I think the biggest or most important issue facing the School District continues to be what I would characterize as unfunded mandates from Harrisburg, two examples being pension obligations and standardized testing. Such mandates impose more tax burden at the local level, and disproportionately on local real property owners.”
“The sources of funding for public education should be broader so as to relieve some of the burden on local property owners so that the cost can be shared.”
Hasco said in an e-mail: “The most important issue for our district, in my opinion, is to continue to offer high-priority education programs that will best impact student learning. We, like most districts in Pennsylvania, are faced with continuing budget challenges that require us to be incredibly thoughtful and innovative when it comes to paying the bills.
“The budget process is extremely rigorous. We take this process very seriously and I believe we’ve worked hard to increase our overall efficiencies while continuing to keep the best interests of our students at the center of all of our decisions.”