For the first time in several years, two candidates are running for an open seat on Brookeville’s town commission. The position be filled during the annual election on May 13.
The candidates are Robert T. (Buck) Bartley, Jr. of Church Street and Sandra Heiler of Market Street.
Commission President Michael Acierno, who has served on the commission since 2006, currently holds the seat. He decided not to seek another term.
“I don’t think it is a good idea for one person to spend too much time in this job, and my time is getting more difficult to manage,” Acierno said upon announcing that he would not seek reelection. “I think it makes sense on both a personal and professional level to step down after this term ends.”
Acierno will remain involved in the town’s commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
“I will make sure that the grants and funding stays on track, because I have been working on that for several years,” he said. “It wouldn’t be fair to hand that over to a newcomer.”
Acierno said that he is pleased to see a contested election.
“It shows that people are energized and committed to the town and self government,” he said.
Bartley has lived in Brookeville since 1996. After recently turning over his construction company to the next generation, he said his semi-retirement has freed him to focus his on revived priorities, including service for the betterment of the community.
Heiler moved to Brookeville in 2007. She is the vice chairwoman of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission and chairwoman of Brookeville’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
She said she welcomes the opportunity to respond to the changing needs of the town an it undergoes generational shifts and greet new residents, while continuing to support and enhance what is best about the town and its unique heritage.
Brookeville holds a staggered election each year for either one or two commissioners, each for a two-year term. This system is designed to ensure continuity and experience on the commission.
Commissioners Katherine Farquhar and Suzanne Daley are serving two-year terms that expire in 2015.
Following the election, the three members of the commission elect a president amongst themselves to serve as a quasi-chief executive officer or mayor to conduct town business and represent the town.
The elections are nonpartisan and the commissioners receive no compensation. Commission meetings are held the second Monday of each month.
Under the town charter, every person who is a citizen of the U.S., is at least 18
years of age, has resided within the town for at least 30 days preceding any
town election, and is registered to vote in Montgomery County or with the town is eligible to vote.
The polls are open from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Brookeville Academy at 5 High St. Residents should contact election supervisor Debbie Wagner to get absentee ballots.
The next meeting will be May 19 at 7:30 p.m., at the Brookeville Academy. The agenda will include updates on the War of 1812 commemorative events planned for Aug. 30-31 and the town’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2015.