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2017 Election: Lehighton Borough Council candidates

We asked the candidates to respond to a question about what they would do to improve the community through the office they are seeking. They were limited to 175 words.

There are six candidates seeking three open four-year terms in the Nov. 7 election on the Lehighton borough council.

Their answers are in their own words.

Autumn Abelovsky

Autumn, a 1993 graduate of Lehighton High School and a 1997 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania spent over 10 years working in the health and human service field.

Along with her husband, Troy, and their two children, they share a four-generation property with her family.

Autumn, now a stay-at home wife/mother, is very active in her children’s school, sporting organizations and local scouting programs. Autumn was a member of the Lehighton Sesquicentennial Executive Board and currently holds a position on the Lehighton Borough Parks & Recreation Board.

Autumn plans to focus on the following goals, if elected:

• To ensure Code and Ordinance compliance through more structured enforcement.

• Use social media more effectively so that borough residents can be better informed of local news and events.

• Enhance the borough parks so that they becoming more family friendly and inviting to the borough residents.

• Build stronger and more welcoming relationships for future business and development growth.

• Support, maintain and enhance our community first-responder programs.

• Prioritize borough needs and cut unnecessary and unwarranted spending.

Autumn will hold the traditions of Lehighton, the history and strength of the residents, businesses and community organizations, above all, in every decision she will make.

Joe Flickinger

Councilman Joe Flickinger, a 2001 graduate of Lehighton High School, has always looked out for the residents and visitors of the borough and has been involved in its emergency services since 2001.

Flickinger currently serves in several positions. He is the chairman of the Streets, Buildings and Codes Committee, the co-chair of the Power and Light Committee, delegate for the Carbon County Council of Governments, the emergency management coordinator, as well as a firefighter.

As a re-elected member of borough council, Flickinger would continue to advocate for proper fiscal and strategic planning while stemming unnecessary spending to provide the best options for our residents.

With the contacts made over the past four years, Flickinger wants to continue working to increase the positive trend within the borough; especially driving business opportunities. Joe, as his past actions have shown, will fight to provide the highest quality of vital and essential services within the borough such as its emergency services and infrastructure; while staying committed to actions having the minimal financial effects upon the residents of Lehighton.

Denise Murphy

I was born and raised in Lehighton. I’m a member of two groups. Lehighton Downtown Initiative has been very successful with the farmers market, movie night in the park and Rocktoberfest. Lehighton Area Pool Pals has their success with different events, which help with the upkeep of the pool. I’m a member of these two groups because of their mission and dedication to our town. I also hold a seat on the zoning board.

During my life I have seen many changes the town has gone through.

The reason I am running for borough council is to bring the community back to where it once was when the downtown was flourishing with businesses and people loved walking and shopping downtown.

I would love to see businesses flourish in our town again and see people walking and shopping. I want to be a voice for our new and longtime residents. My goal is to serve our community in any way I can. I’m honest and fair and I want the best for our town.

Scott Rehrig

I am Scott T. Rehrig and I am seeking re-election to the Lehighton Borough Council. I am asking for your vote so that I may continue to serve you and the residents of the borough through sound fiscal policy and an unbiased agenda.

I was born and raised in Lehighton. I raised my family in Lehighton and I have two grandchildren that live in the borough and attend the district. My reasons for serving on council are pure and without agenda. I simply want Lehighton to be a safe; family oriented community so that others may raise their families as I did.

I believe council must be fiscally responsible by looking for ways to improve our public services through the efficient use of resources and grants without overburdening our taxpayers. We need to continue to foster economic growth by encouraging new commercial and residential property development through various committee workshops resulting in an increased tax base and a lower per household tax burden.

I graciously ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Thank you.

Ryan Saunders

I am originally from Walnutport and moved to Lehighton in 2004 so my kids could attend the Lehighton Area School district. I have coached football, basketball and soccer for the LABC, baseball and softball for Franklin Township.

Through my years in Lehighton I have dedicated myself to the community and various nonprofit organizations such as the LDI and Pool Pals. I have been on the zoning hearing board for over four years and enjoy watching our town grow and with the progress we have made in the LDI, I believe we are well on track to bringing life back into our downtown, and I look forward to being a part of that process.

I have dedicated myself to helping our town come back to life through the nonprofit groups I am heavily involved in, and if I am elected I firmly believe I can become an integral part of our local government where we focus more on the safety of our residents and evolving our recreational assets for our children.

I pledge to make the best decisions I can, utilizing all the facts available to me and be proud of what we can and will accomplish as a united community.

If all of our local resources work together such as our fire and police departments, borough council, and residents we will for sure succeed in bettering our town of Lehighton for now and future residents to come.

Helen Torok

Helen Torok invested in Carbon County in 1976 with her spouse of 50 years, Tibor Torok. They built their third home from a shell in Penn Forest.

She learned of Lehighton through her N.J. Bank to contact the Peoples Bank on First Street.

She entertained at the Summit for years, VA-Eckley Miners Village, and ACS Telethon.

She was appointed to the PSU-Extension Board, 4-H development committees starting in 1999.

Helen is the founding president of the Jim Thorpe Lioness Club and served as volunteer director and photographer to the Carbon County Fair for 20 years.

Helen is listed in Who’s Who of American Women/Industry and Finance Studied at Pace University — NYC and served as adjunct professor for the GSA for six years.

In her council position, she is chairman of the Lehighton Power and Light, vice chairman of the Central Carbon Municipal Authority/co-chairman of the sewer committee, and board member of the local emergency food and shelter program, and chaired two major events for the 150th sesquicentennial.

Helen has three adult children, one deceased, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

She is a board member of Temple Israel of Lehighton.

I am looking forward to a second term as council to continue the important work yet to be done.

Critical, accountability to our taxpayers. We need to employ line-by-line reporting opposed to general, inconsistent application of expenditures to visualize cost-cutting possibilities.

Capitalize revenue potential, especially in real estate. If necessary, hire experts to market those resources.

Get strict with health, safety measures and drugs. Employ ordinances where missing. Disaster plans for residents.

Blight must be eradicated in order for our town to prosper and attract investors and visitors.

Small town does not mean small minds, let’s stand up and take control of our future as a team!

Thanks for your vote consideration.