West Donegal Township has a new township manager to replace Gene Oldham, who is retiring. Supervisor John O. Yoder III was named to the job and has resigned from his elected office.
Yoder’s first day as township manager is Monday, Dec. 4; his resignation as township supervisor is effective on Friday, Dec. 2.
The township manager is in charge of all the day-to-day operations of the township, supervising all the township employees. Oldham’s retirement had caused concern among supervisors about finding a replacement.
Yoder, an architect, said after the meeting that he planned to give notice of resignation to his job at RLPS Architects the next morning. As for his elected position, he remains on the general election ballot because it is too late for him to withdraw as a candidate.
Randall O. Wenger, the chief clerk of the Lancaster County Board of Elections, said in an interview on Tuesday, Oct. 10, that Yoder will most likely be elected because he is one of two people running for two six-year terms. (The other is Eric W. Kreider; both are Republicans.)
“Somebody could run a write-in campaign, but they’re going to have to beat somebody who’s on the ballot in order to be successful,” Wenger said.
It will take some time to see if a write-in campaign is successful. Write-in votes are normally counted starting on the Friday after Election Day, Wenger said, but county offices will be closed that day this year in observance of Veterans Day. This year, write-ins will be counted starting on Monday, Nov. 13, and they will be posted online at 4 p.m. each day until all are counted, Wenger said.
Wenger said the remaining supervisors can appoint someone to replace Yoder on the Board of Supervisors for the remainder of 2017 no matter what. Assuming Yoder wins the election, they can appoint someone to replace him for the next two years, but there will be an election in 2019 when someone will be elected for the remaining four years of the six-year term.
In other business at the meeting on Monday, Oct. 9, township supervisors voted unanimously to appoint professional engineer David T. Lewis to the Elizabethtown Area Water Authority; Lewis already serves on the board of the Elizabethtown Regional Sewer Authority. Supervisors also heard a request from the Rheems Athletic Association for $25,000 a year for the next 10 years to maintain and improve the athletic complex. Later in the meeting, Supervisor Phil Dunn suggested discussing other possible sources for the money, such as grants from the state.