Thomas seeking Blair County Commissioner seat

(Editor’s note: Recently, The Daily Herald sent out letters to individuals listed in our coverage area who have filed for candidacy in the May 15 primary election. Individuals were asked to send back the information so that the Herald could spotlight each candidate to the public. The Daily Herald compiled the information on the candidates and is currently running the spotlight articles to provide complete coverage of the election to our readers. It should be noted that if a candidate did not provide information to the Herald, then no information will be printed about them for the upcoming election.)
Rich Thomas of Roaring Spring is one of many candidates running for a Blair County Commissioner seat.
“The reason I am running is, like most Blair Countians, I am unhappy at the way our county has been managed,” Thomas explained. “I think I can do a better job. Higher taxes and trying to balance the budget on the backs of working people, both county employees and property owners, just doesn’t cut it.
“My campaign message is fair county tax assessment, fiscal responsibility, and accountability, revitalization of mass transportation through grants and proper management.”
Thomas said that if elected, his plan for the proposed property tax reassessment is to assess property when it is sold, with a minimum of ten years between assessments. This way, new owners will know what the tax bill will be and can fit it into their buying budget.
Thomas, a United States Army Vietnam Veteran, is an electrician at Appleton Paper in Roaring Spring, an officer of VFW Post 7689, and President and Chairman of the Board of the Spring Mill Employees Federal Credit Union.
“I believe in smart growth that encourages business to locate in and people to live and work in Blair County,” Thomas said. “I also believe that a company that hires employees from outside the county should pay an extra tax for each employee who resides outside the county. Smart growth will look for county investment opportunities, not expenditures. Smart growth will grow revenues into surpluses. I’m not promising lower taxes and more services, like some others running. We are already in a deficit. My plan will keep taxes in check, balance the budget, and be fair to all. I personally ask for your vote May 15.”
Thomas is running on the Democratic ticket.