Huntingdon County Commissioner Mark Sather has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for a second term as Huntingdon County Commissioner in the Tuesday, May 21, primary election.
In working with the current board of commissioners, significant improvements have been made for public safety with the upgrade of the countywide 911 emergency radio system. The upgrade included moving from the 30-year-old obsolete analog technology to digital communications, providing clear 911 communications throughout all of Huntingdon County. Additional improvements have been made in working with the Southern Alleghenies 911 Cooperative, such as the availability of text-to-911 for incidents in which the safety of the caller or coverage of the call prohibits voice calls. Also during this time, the 911 operations center was upgraded with new consoles for the dispatch operators and upgraded wiring closet with backup power and environmental services.
Working together, the board of commissioners also addressed and completed courthouse ADA compliance issues with renovations to the first floor bathrooms. Also, phase II completion work was approved with the courthouse dome repainting to historic color specifications, as well as completed external painting of the clock tower. The savings from the project were then used toward refinishing the courthouse doors which are currently in the process of completion.
Coming into office in 2016, the board was presented with unfunded debt in the form of loans from 2014 and 2015 that had not been budgeted by the previous board for payment of $276,000 and an overvalued tax levy that further reduced tax revenue projection by $160,000. The current board, following sound financial principles, addressed the deficits and made corrections in 2017. The current board of commissioners are also addressing the requirement of the state Department of Human Services to move to a modified accrual accounting system according to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), which has been presented to the county in state audit reports since 2006. The county commissioners, by following sound financial principles, formed a balanced budget.
“As fiscal managers of Huntingdon County, it is our responsibility to offer a responsible budget with awareness to the impact it has on our residents with fixed and low income,” said Sather. “In reviewing projects and requests, decisions have to be made based on the need, not wants, and where the funds come from to pay the expenses.”
In workforce development, the board of commissioners is very proud to state that, upon receiving a call in 2016, the county had worked to bring ACPI, a leader in manufacturing and distribution of kitchen and bath cabinets to fill the vacant FCI/Berg plant in the Riverside Business Park, Mount Union. Since that time, in working with Huntingdon County Business and Industry (HCBI), we have seen manufacturer Curbs Plus move into the vacant shoe factory in Mount Union and K&L Plating purchase the former US Sports plant.
Sather said he can reflect with pride that a tradition has returned to Huntingdon County by having the commissioners show leadership skills by hosting the annual Civic Day for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts where today’s youth will one day become tomorrow’s leaders.
As a commissioner, Sather also is on a number of boards, including HCBI, Area Agency on Aging, Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce, financial and personnel committee of Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development, Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, Huntingdon County Library, Central Counties Youth Center, Solid Waste Authority, Juniata Valley Behavioral Development Services.
He also serves as part of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and is an active member of the governance committee and a board member of Pennsylvania Counties Risk Pool (PCoRP), formed in 1987 as a unique combination of self insurance, commercial insurance and loss control with 30 years of operations now representing 57 counties and county related entities.
Sather, 59, is a lifelong resident of Huntingdon County, a 1977 graduate of Huntingdon Area High School and went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Juniata College in 1981 while raising a family and working as a meat cutter at Weis Markets. He has chosen to live and rear his family in Huntingdon County, believing the area provides an excellent environment for families. He is married to the former Beverly Port and has two sons, Jarod and Travis, and two daughters through marriage, Ellice Smith and Christy Steidle, and three grandchildren, Colton, Finnley and Macklin.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of Huntingdon County,” said Sather. “I am seeking your support to continue to serve as your full-time commissioner, working for you!