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Write-In Candidate Appears to Defeat Incumbent Conoy Supervisor

Conoy Township supervisors acknowledged that apparent victory of a write-in candidate over an incumbent township supervisor by voting to send him to supervisor training at township expense.

Unofficial results posted by the county show Meadow Vista Dairy operator Justin Risser with 438 write-in votes over incumbent John L. Shearer, who had 263 votes. Shearer was the only candidate listed on the ballot. Risser and Shearer are both Republicans.

At the meeting of township supervisors on Thursday, Nov. 14, Shearer made the motion to authorize the township to pay for the training; it passed with a unanimous vote of the supervisors present. (Vice Chair Gina R. Mariani was absent.) The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors offers the training, which costs $169.

Risser was not at the meeting, but asked for an email message he sent to be read aloud. It said, “Please excuse my absence tonight as I would have liked to be in attendance as a public participant. My uncle Don is receiving a pretty prestigious award from the Lancaster Chamber of Agriculture as their annual banquet tonight and Melissa and I wanted to be present to show our support. I look forward to starting my new role in January and am humbled to be able to serve the residents of Conoy Township.”

Also at the meeting, supervisors voted to advertise their proposed budget for 2020. The township plans to continue its unusual practice of having no township real estate tax. The township gets significant revenue from host fees for a county-owned incinerator that burns garbage to generate electricity; in September, the most recent month for which figures are available, the township got $56,321.07 and the incinerator burned 29,642.67 tons of trash.

In another matter, supervisors voted to enter a cooperation agreement with the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority for expansion of the Perdue Agribusiness soybean processing plant, which is powered by steam from the trash-burning incinerator. Justin Eby of the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority said the agreement allows for $2 million in state funding to help pay for the $6.3 million expansion. Township Solicitor Matthew J. Crème Jr. said the expansion was moving quickly because it had been planned from the beginning, but it was taking place much sooner than expected because demand for soybean processing increased much more quickly than expected.

“Our regional growers are benefiting from Perdue being here,” Crème said.

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