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2019 primary election: Monroe County commissioner

Published May 11. 2019 06:25AM

Vote for not more than 2. 4-year term.

Candidates were asked: Do you have specific suggestions for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the office for which you are a candidate?

Democratic Party

John Christy

Address: Stroudsburg

Campaign phone: 570-460-0049


Campaign email:

Education: B.A., Gannon University, Political Science; A.S., Gannon University, Business

Current occupation: County commissioner

Qualifications: four years County Commissioner, owner OM Christy Construction Consulting Company. 40 years construction management background.

A: The County Commissioners office oversees the financial welfare and sets the tone and direction of the county. This is reflected on a myriad organizations that are working together to connect social services and economic opportunities. The fiscal management of facilities with oversight through technology that we have implemented is creating an effective way to control costs on building repairs.

Outdated paper systems are being replaced with management tools such as “Docu-ware” to alleviate redundant storage and handling of documents countywide. New court filings are being done via electronic files saving time money and adds efficiency. We are utilizing technology to streamline county systems and services and will continue to create a more efficient and effective Monroe County and save taxpayer dollars. We are still working on ways to provide greater bandwidth at lower cost for some government offices. We are working with local landowners to hopefully find a suitable solution soon.

Sharon Laverdure

Address: East Stroudsburg

Campaign Phone: 570-460-5156


Campaign email:

Education: Education Specialist, The College of William & Mary; Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, Marywood University. M.S. Educational Administration; East Stroudsburg University; B.A. Elementary Education, Alderson Broaddus College

Current Occupation: Community activist

Qualifications: Teacher (served as association president)/coach/administration, all levels and central office. Retiring as superintendent. Oversight of $145 million school budget, 1,000-plus employees, servicing 8,000 students at district population peak.

A: Vision for Monroe County: Infrastructure; secure grants to address issues and concerns in a timely manner throughout Monroe County; environmental and economic balance; maintain the beauty of Monroe County while promoting economic development; emergency services; assess countywide services to ensure equitable coverage for all of Monroe County; transparency; hold town hall and open forums to address countywide concerns and initiatives to accommodate working residents; cooperative governance; facilitate cooperation and dialogue with boroughs and townships to improve quality of life for our residents.

Robert Lovenheim

Mailing Address: Shawnee on Delaware

Campaign Phone: 570-580-4252


Campaign email:

Education: Boston University, B.A., Tulane University, M.F.A., University of Southern California

Current Occupation: Supervisor, Smithfield Township; managing director, Storypoint

Qualifications: Currently supervisor in Smithfield Township, many years of executive and managerial experience in media business. Board member of several neighborhood associations

A: Kick this county into the 21st century! We’ve been getting by OK with good maintenance from the current team of commissioners, but is that enough? Not for me and not for a younger generation who will go where there is innovation, new ideas and technological advancement. We’re a mere 75 miles from one of the most vibrant megalopolises on the East Coast (call it New York City). Why aren’t we drawing entrepreneurs and businesses from there with our nearness to nature and unmatched quality of living? Because we need to put ourselves on the map with innovative ideas that can make us a cool place to come and work and live. Prosperity doesn’t just happen, it has to be seeded and nurtured. I don’t see enough of that in Monroe County. It takes forceful leadership on the county level and follow-through with the townships. Change doesn’t just happen, you have to force it into existence.

Andre Reames

Campaign Phone: 862-591-0592

Campaign email:

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Current Occupation: Human services director

Qualifications: Director has responsible for multimillion dollars budget. Great relationship with local, state and federal officials to get Monroe County turned around. Specialize in providing services that effective, efficient and excellent.

A: Conduct town hall meetings; evening county commissioner meetings; protect our environment; improve our telecommunication, high speed internet; and have a real economic development plan.

James Smith

Address: Stroudsburg

Campaign Phone: 570-687-4108

Campaign email:

Current Occupation: PennDOT Council President of Stroudsburg Borough

Qualifications: President of Stroudsburg Borough Council, streets committee, redevelopment committee, park committee, finance/budget committee, multimillion dollar budget. Government experience/knowledge with local ordinances. Professional relationships with state representatives. PennDOT employee. Volunteer firefighter. Board member of nonprofit. Life experience and struggles every family in Monroe County faces.

A: Monroe County has a number of great assets including tourist destinations, outdoor activities and colleges, but our greatest assets are our residents. Government works for the people, and as president of Stroudsburg Borough Council, I know the struggles are the same for all of our communities such as road conditions, high cost of living/low wages and attracting new volunteer firefighters. As commissioner, I would start the conversations for more transparency, incentives for volunteer firefighters, scheduling Act 80 days at the four school districts on election days for student safety and voting ease for residents, improving public transportation, examine prison reform to reduce cost and enhance programs at MCTI. There are gaps in services our community needs, and I support attracting senior living/care facilities, competition for cable/high speed internet, businesses that offer family sustaining wages, open space/agriculture and quality of life programs. Please visit my Facebook page.

Joshua Walker

Address: East Stroudsburg

Campaign Phone: 570-664-0622


Campaign email:

Education: M.S. Management and Leadership in Public Administration, ESU; B.A. Communications, Wilkes University.

Current Occupation: Office staff at Christian Life Assembly

Qualifications: Studied best practices of public administration at a graduate level. Worked for a state legislator for two years on legislative initiatives, constituent advocacy, and solving complex state-related issues. It is time to implement creative solutions to keep Monroe County moving forward. Together.

A: It has been brought to my attention that the current county commissioners stopped having departmental meetings. That would be improvement number one. Bring everyone together at least once a month so we can collectively discuss what is working and what needs to be improved. Effective and efficient communication is key to a successful administration.

It is also necessary to be a strong voice for the residents of Monroe County on all issues including state-related. As county commissioner you must be a visionary leader that meets with key stakeholders and decision makers to ensure that all 168,000 of your residents are empowered to achieve their potential. Let’s keep Monroe County moving forward. Together.

Republican Party

Charles A Garris

Address: East Stroudsburg

Campaign Phone: 570-350-8870

Campaign email:

Education: B.S., East Stroudsburg University

Current Occupation: County Commissioner

Qualifications: Vast multi-municipal experience: Brodhead Creek Regional Authority 2006-present; Smithfield Township Sewer Authority 2007-2011; Southeast Monroe County Regional Sewer Authority Chairman, 1980-1981; Mayor of East Stroudsburg 1994-1997; East Stroudsburg Borough Council 1985-1989; Monroe County Control Center Board 1988-1991; East Stroudsburg Planning and Zoning 1975-1985. Successful business accomplishments: Patterson Kelley Company, Manager, Heat Transfer Division, 1964-1984; Charles A. Garris Manufacturers, Representative, 1985-2011. Deep Roots & Commitment to our to our Community: Educated in the East Stroudsburg School District; United States Air Force, 1956-1960; East Stroudsburg University, B.S. in Education 1964; Monroe County Historical Association, Board Member, 2006-2010; Pocono Medical Center, Board of Directors, 1983-1992; Pocono Medical Center, Board Chairman, 1988-1992; Pocono Medical Center, Board Chairman, 1992-1995.

A: As a sitting county commissioner it is important that the county government be run in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Without making conservative, intelligent decisions, every working day, budgets soon get out of hand, and the net results would be a tax increase for the Monroe County residents. It is my goal, if I am re-elected, to continue a cost-effective and efficient running of Monroe County.

John R. Moyer

Address: Shawnee on Delaware

Campaign Phone: 570-421-9993

Campaign email:

Education: B.S., Bloomsburg State University; M.Ed., Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Current Occupation: Monroe County Commissioner

Qualifications: Seven years experience serving in the office and effectively controlling expenses. Twenty-five years as a property manager answering to a number of different homeowner boards of directors. Four years of service on the Pennsylvania State Planning Commission.

A: Although I have been a commissioner for seven years, there’s always room for improvement. I would like to be more successful in bringing more family-sustaining jobs to Monroe County; fund community service organizations based on positive results rather than “We’ve always done it this way”; secure financial assistance for some of our major capital projects through federal and state grants rather than relying totally on taxpayers’ dollars; modernize more of the county offices so they are not dealing with (and storing) massive amounts of paper; and, above all, keep politics out of the commissioners’ office.

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