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Bill Fink challenges for Tyrone Borough council post

In the May primary, Tyrone resident Bill Fink received more votes than any of the seven candidates that are running for the four open Tyrone Borough Council seats. Following his primary win, Fink isn’t counting his chickens.
“I need to treat this campaign like it is brand new again,” said Fink. “I will continue to go out and talk to the people of Tyrone and learn their concerns and what they would like to see from a borough council members.”
Fink, a republican, who is retired from service in the military and federal government, is looking to serve as a council member.
“Tyrone needs someone to be on the council who will act in the best interest of the people,” said Fink. “For example the petition that is being sent concerning the gas price increases. This is something that elected officials should be leading the charge on. They should be hot on the trail of Dominion Peoples and making sure that they aren’t able to raise the gas rates by between 38 and 48 percent.
“Council members should be worried about things like this. They need to work to try to keep the cost of living for the working people and retirees as palatible as they can,” he said. “Council members need to focus on the needs of the constituents and work with them to attain what is needed.”
In the past year, Tyrone Borough has approved KOEZ and LERTA zones within the borders. Fink believes that each application should be carefully considered before being approved.
“I think that KOEZ zones are a good thing,” said Fink. “But there has to be a way to pay for these breaks that isn’t coming out of the pockets of the residents. If granting LERTA Zones or approving KOEZs are going to raise the taxes on the taxpayer, maybe the borough shouldn’t do it. Take a look at Snyder Township. They are paying something like 11 mills of taxes while Tyrone residents are paying 29 mills. If granting a LERTA Zone or KOEZ would put another tax burden, residents of Tyrone will be paying the same amount in taxes as Hollidaysburg. Tyrone residents are in less of a position than Snyder Township residents to pay that high a tax. The borough has painted itself into a corner with its finances and the residents are paying the price.”
One of the ways Tyrone painted itself into a corner was to guarantee no layoffs in the latest negotiations with the union for borough employees according to Fink.
“The borough needs to go out and look for an independent desk audit,” said the Republican candidate. “An audit should be done on each position to determine if the position should exist or it should be downgraded in rank. In the days when the population of Tyrone was over 10,000 there were less employees. It seems like the more people we lose as residents of the borough, the more people the borough employees and many of them don’t live in the borough.”
Fink believes that thinking outside the box is the biggest issue the borough faces.
“We need to look beyond Tyrone, Snyder Township and the state,” said Fink. “The thought right now is to fill the storefronts with little shops and it looks good, but there is no stability to it.
“There is the hotel idea that is being floated around. What is here that will support that hotel? Council needs to look at something that can help support that hotel.
“There are many companies that are looking to leave the west coast and move their corporate offices to the east. We need to be out trying to attract corporate offices to Tyrone. Something that will come here and grow roots. We also have the old Big Yank building that is just sitting there. We need to market that building to attract business to Tyrone.”
There are other problems Fink believes should be addressed.
“To help draw corporations to Tyrone, we need to work on our infrastructure because it is in shambles,” said Fink. “Drive down Washington or Park avenues. We need our roads and sidewalks fixed throughout the borough. The problem is that this community is already being challenged at its current tax rates.”
Fink vows to be accessible if elected.
“I always welcome the opportunity at any time to talk to the people,” said Fink. “I prefer that they would come to council and bring their issues on the record at the meetings. I disagree with the way that public comment is set up. I would like it to be at the end of the meetings or during so that the people can understand or ask questions about what is happening during the meetings. I would listen to the people who come to the meetings. Many residents feel that if they address council, they aren’t listened to and so they don’t bother.”
Fink is on the Republican ballot in the November general election.