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Warminster Democrats have full ticket for municipal election

March 20,2017 12:20

Warminster Democrats are poised to oppose Republican candidates in nearly all municipal election races this year. The Democratic committee has endorsed Anna Peak for township supervisor; Shelley Eilenberg and Andrew Dixon for two Centennial School ...and more »



Warminster Democrats are poised to oppose Republican candidates in nearly all municipal election races this year.The Democratic committee has endorsed Anna Peak for township supervisor; Shelley Eilenberg and Andrew Dixon for two Centennial School Board Region 3 races; Tara Pellegrino for Centennial School Board Region 2; Judy Hoover for township auditor; and Pat Boyle for tax collector.Peak, a professor at Temple University, said one of her primary motivations for running for office is the chemical  contamination of drinking water that has affected residents in the past two years.

Peak and her husband, school board candidate Dixon, moved into the area late in 2014. Dixon was raised in Warminster and has family in the area.About a month after moving to the township, Anna Peak said she discovered she was pregnant and started learning of the water contamination suspected to be linked to firefighting foams in nearby former and active military bases.Peak said learning more about the water issue led to an increased interest in local government meetings. It wasn't long after that she was approached by the Warminster Township Democratic Organization about a run for office.Running unopposed on the Democratic ticket in the May 16 primary, Peak will have to run against Republican incumbent Supervisor Chair Mark McKee or candidate Dave Hauschild.The three school board contenders are also taking their first steps into the political arena this election year.Dixon, Eilenberg and Pellegrino said a rise in school property taxes and a decline in state rankings in math and science are two trends they want to change if elected.Dixon, a professor at Rowan University in New Jersey, and Pellegrino, a teacher at a Chester County public school, pointed to their professional education experience they say qualifies them for the school board positions.While not an educator, Eilenberg said her background in business management will help her with her goal of increasing community discussion among the board, parents and taxpayers.Warminster Republicans have endorsed Mark Hartline and Mary Alice Brancato for the two Region 3 Centennial board races, Dan McPhillips, chairman of the Warminster Township Republican Committee and township supervisor.Peak and all three of the school board candidates said they would like to see more communication between the school board and the township board of supervisors.The candidates echoed concerns raised by residents about the sale of the former Hart Elementary School property to Envision Land Use LLC in 2014.

The school district sold the 15-acre property for $438,000 as well as an 11-acre parcel on Newtown Road for $1.4 million to County Builders.At repeated supervisors' meetings since the deal, residents have expressed either a dissatisfaction with a lack of communication between the school board and the township or said they felt the properties could have been sold for more.Democrats Brian Munroe and Kathy Frescatore have credited the former school property sales and shrinking open space as issues that helped them defeat incumbents Scott DeRosa and Wayne McCulloch in the 2015 municipal election.Frescatore and Munroe said the surge of Democratic candidates this year is a leap from their run two years ago, when they were the only two Democrats running in the local races.Munroe said this year's resurgence of Democratic candidates was due to the local organization's outreach and President Donald Trump's win in the 2016 General Election.The last day for candidates to withdraw from the May 16 primary is March 22.The last day for voters to register before the primary is April 17.

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Christopher Ullery: 215-345-3179; email: cullery@calkins.com; Twitter: @ulleryatintell 

warminster municipal election,warminster supervisor election,centennial school board election,anna peak,andrew dixon,shelley eilenberg,tara pellegrino,

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