Justin V. Yaich of Jim Thorpe has announced he will seek the post of State Representative of the 122nd Legislative District. Yaich will be seeking the Democratic nomination on May 18, 2010. Yaich currently serves as the President of Jim Thorpe Borough Council, where he is serving his second term. Yaich also serves as the Chairman of Administration for the Borough.
"When I read of Keith McCall's retirement, I like many, was in shock," Yaich said. "Over the past five years, I had the privilege of working with Keith on a number of projects. His dedication and tireless service to our district is second to none."
Yaich pointed out that the 122nd District is facing some very challenging times. The economic slump has impacted every segment of society, crippled pension funds and forced many businesses to close. The recession has put a severe crunch on local hospitals and has forced the downsizing of staff. "As someone who's life benefited greatly from our local hospital's care, our district needs someone who will stand firm beside them and their employees to ensure the best services to Carbon County residents," Yaich said.
"It is essential that we continue to be firm and vocal in the fight for property tax reform. I believe the most equitable and efficient way to deliver this change is through a shift toward sales tax, either eliminating property tax completely or placing a small flat tax on real estate to makeup any sales tax shortfall. The State should also take an active role in overseeing building projects school districts engage in. In addition, we need to stand firm and push for reform of 'spot assessments.' This mechanism, employed by many school districts, is simply unfair and burdens new home buyers with outrageous tax rates." Yaich stated.
In his professional career, Yaich serves as the Director of Planning for Washington Township. In addition, he serves in the capacity of State Building Code Official, administering the State Building Laws, Notary Public, Zoning and Code Enforcement and is the Employee Safety Program Coordinator. Through that, Yaich has developed a comprehensive knowledge of the Municipalities Planning Code, International Building Code, Property Maintenance Code, Borough and Township Codes. Yaich attended Lehigh Valley Real Estate Institute and is a licensed Pennsylvania Realtor. He has attended Lehigh Carbon Community College, Bloomsburg University, and has also taken advanced distant corespondent courses. Yaich holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration at Kutztown University.
During his tenure in elected office, Yaich and fellow council members were successful in pursuing over $2,000,000 in state and federal grants. He and other members also spearheaded the first 'green' municipal office building and police station for the Borough of Jim Thorpe, which incorporated a new state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system. "I believe the State needs to continue to advance green technologies. If State funding is awarded for building projects, guidelines should include a form of green technology," Yaich said. The municipal building also relieved taxpayers of $30,000 annually in rental fees. In addition, he worked to secure and invest over $100,000 in public parks and recreation. Yaich also serves as the borough's representative to the Carbon County Communication Commission.
Yaich is a member of the Jim Thorpe Lions Club, Blue Lodge No. 440, F. & A.M., Jim Thorpe, Lehighton and Palmerton Democratic Clubs, and the Carbon County Democratic Executive Committee.
An avid sportsman and strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Yaich enjoys hunting, fishing, and is also a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Born and raised in Jim Thorpe, Yaich is the son of Edward "Danny" Yaich of Jim Thorpe and Regina (Arthur) Yaich of Nesquehoning. He and his family are members of St. John's Lutheran Church in Jim Thorpe.
"Working in Municipal Government essentially puts you on the front line when it comes to understanding what residents need most," Yaich said. "Among the biggest challenges our residents currently face are unemployment and the burden of property tax. Our residents must have jobs, but even those who are working are electing not to build new homes, make financial investments in property or move up into larger homes in this economic environment. This is stifling the real estate and construction markets and making it harder on families in our area."
"I was raised in a blue-collar, small business family. I know that we have to support and encourage real estate ownership in both the residential and commercial sectors, if we hope to protect blue-collar and middle class jobs in our district."
"My goal is to provide a fair and strong voice for all residents, regardless of personal or political persuasion. My service, in both Borough and Township Administration, has given me the experience and the skills necessary to be an effective and articulate representative for the people of Carbon County , as well as the municipalities and communities that comprise our district."