PERRY TOWNSHIP – The 2020 New Year will find two new faces on the Perry Township Board of Trustees, following narrow upsets in the November election.
In a startling outcome, newcomer Jason Hartshorn unseated long-time incumbent Dale Seim by a single vote. Seim’s seat was also sought by Chad C. Dawson, Sr.
When the Montgomery County Board of Elections confirmed results during last week of December, the official tally was Hartshorn with 483 votes, Seim at 482 and Dawson with 216.
Another newcomer, Mindi Wynne, won over Ronald K. Price by a vote of 582 to 556. Price was appointed to the seat after former trustee Sheila Stanifer resigned in August of 2018.
Fiscal Officer Rhonda Behnken retained her position, winning against Charity F. Grill by a vote of 725 to 480.
After the first of 2020, the board of trustees will be made of Melissa Mears, Hartshorn and Wynne.
The change in leadership came about when several township residents took interest in the trustees’ meetings after becoming concerned about things that were occurring there. Dissension had been increasing during the past couple of years among some trustees and township residents.
When residents were able to read about the dissension on a private Web site called “The Prospering Perry Township,” some came forward expressing interest to become involved in making changes.
Also, two issues were defeated in Perry Township in the November election. Electric Aggregation was rejected by 729 against and 520 yes votes. The related issue of Natural Gas Aggregation for township residents was defeated 725 to 500.
Joe Garrett, representative of Trebel, LLC, had made several presentations to the trustees over the past two to three years, urging them to place the issues on the ballot. The trustees did so to let voters decide whether they wanted the choice of aggregation benefits or not.
Manfred Shreyer, who operates “The Prospering Perry Township” site on Facebook, ran for trustee previously. He didn’t win but remained interested in township operations.
“The election results this year for the Perry Township trustees is a great example of democracy in action. There were no fancy campaigns or crazy amounts of signs,” said Schreyer. “What it took was providing the citizens with digital access to meetings so they could see for themselves, the hard work of Hartshorn and Wynne talking to citizens and attending every meeting possible, as well as the persistence of a core group of people pushing for change and professionalism in Perry Township.
“The citizens of Perry spoke and I’m proud of how many people are now informed, care, and are active in the community government. I believe we have great things to come,” Schreyer said.
Seim and Price were unavailable for comment as of last Sunday.
Perry Township Trustees meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the township administration building at 3025 Johnsville-Brookville Road, Brookville.
For more information, call 937-833-3045.