CLEARFIELD – A large group of Clearfield County Democratic Committee members and volunteers filled the room on Feb. 8 at the IBEW Local # 5 Training Center in Clearfield. Rodger Baumgardner, Clearfield County Democratic chair welcomed all in attendance and laid out an ambitious agenda for the 2011 election cycle.
Guest speaker David Yoxtheimer, a geologist with the Penn State Cooperative Extension Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, gave a presentation on, “Technical and Environmental Aspects of Marcellus Natural Gas Development in Pennsylvania”. The crowd asked numerous questions and raised concerns relative to drinking water safety, long terms environmental and health concerns, and employment opportunities for local workers in the industry. Baumgardner thanked Yoxtheimer and explained that he felt it is important to learn as much as possible about the Marcellus industry because, “It is here and it impacts us in Clearfield County whether we like it or not.”
Several candidates for office in the upcoming Democratic primary spoke to the crowd. Candidate for Clearfield County Commissioner Rex Read began by saying, “Government can‘t spend more than it takes in and Clearfield County‘s 2011 budget calls for over $3,000,000 more in spending than revenue. That is unacceptable.”
Current County Commissioner Mark McCracken said that, “The county is facing some very serious challenges from looming state budget cuts and unfunded mandates. In my two terms as Clearfield County Commissioner I have fought to hold the line on expenses and make Clearfield County attractive to businesses.”
Newcomer, P.J Monella said that, “It is important to get the voters energized and supporting candidates who will work for the people of Clearfield County. The county commissioners have to be able to work together as a team.” Candidate for Magisterial District Judge; Dan Nelson, Esq. spoke to his courtroom experience and Jerome “Jerry” Nevling highlighted his years in law enforcement. Clearfield County Prothonotary, William “Bill” Shaw, thanked those in attendance for their past and continued support. And District Attorney, William “Bill” Shaw Jr. stated that he is seeking re-election in order to continue his fight to uphold the laws that protect the citizens of Clearfield County.
Sarah Alicea, vice-chair of the Clearfield County Democratic Committee joined Lester Smiley of The City of DuBois Democratic Club in announcing plans for the first annual spring spaghetti dinner to be held in Clearfield. Smiley stated, “Normally the DuBois Club Democratic Club holds a spring dinner but we are going to cancel it and help the countywide committee hold one in Clearfield. It is important to support this committee in order to be effective in electing candidates who will fight for working people. The middle class is shrinking and will disappear if we don’t do something to stop it.”
Charlie Lombardo volunteered to organize the dinner which is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., April 23 at the Expo I Building of the Clearfield Driving Park and Fairgrounds in Clearfield. Tickets for the First Annual Clearfield County Democratic Spaghetti Dinner are $10 and will be available from committee members in mid March. Denny Leigey of Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub, Clearfield will be catering the event.
Baumgardner closed the meeting by sharing a short story by John Gray titled, “A Day in the Life of a Republican.” The piece chronicles a day in the life of Joe, a staunch Republican, who enjoys all of the rights and protections given to him through the efforts of Democratic legislators and activists. Baumgardner added that the Democratic party has brought us initiatives such as social security, clean air and drinking water laws, and federal deposit insurance that protect our savings from unscrupulous banking practices. “Democrats need to stand up and be proud of what we have done for this country!”
The next meeting of The Clearfield County Democratic Committee is scheduled for March 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the IBEW Local # 5 Training Center, 1700 Leonard St., Clearfield. Any registered Democrat is welcome to attend. Voter registration materials will be available for anyone who wishes to register or change party affiliations.
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