Constable running for commissioner nomination

Chad Riley has announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for Lycoming County Commissioner in the spring primary.

Riley, 26, is a constable with Cogan House Township.

He is also a licensed notary, life insurance producer, federal firearms dealer and contractor.

Riley holds a degree in criminal justice from York College of Pennsylvania.

He is a member of the National Rifle Association and Lodge 106 Free and Accepted Masons and a lifetime National Eagle Scout Association member.

He attends Liberty Church.

“I have attended numerous commissioners’ meetings over the past year and a half and have been

baffled at some of the decisions being made under the current administration,” he said.

Among his concerns, he said, is the ongoing taxpayer funding of White Deer Golf Course, “which still hasn’t managed to turn a profit,” he said.

He noted that the county owes millions of dollars from loans or bonds used to purchase it.

“The golf course is just costing the county millions and millions of dollars,” he said.

Riley also decried the county’s deficit and tax hike.

“For the tax year 2018 the county’s projected deficit was less than $2 million,” he said. “The current board of commissioners raised taxes 0.75 mills to generate $4 million in revenue for the county. In 2018 the bail/release program is estimated to save Lycoming County $3 million. In 2019, with the tax increase revenue and bail/release program savings we still have a projected deficit of approximately $6.5 million. Where did that money go?”

Beth Johnston, county fiscal services director, stated in December that the $6.5 million deficit will be balanced by bond proceeds, and will eventually mean a surplus of $3 million.

Riley called for holding departments accountable through reduced spending.

“In December of 2017 the commissioners adopted a resolution to eliminate up to 20 positions in county government to help save the county and ultimately the tax payers money. The county planning department has cut and/or combined positions which will save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years while other departments have increased positions and spending. Where is the accountability?”

He noted that people on fixed incomes are particularly vulnerable to county tax hikes.

Riley said more input needs to be gathered from the county’s talented staff as well as the public in decision making at the county level.

“We have to get more businesses in the county and stop others from leaving the county. That creates jobs for citizens,” he said. “I will bring new ideas, a different perspective, have more transparency, educate the public on county government, include the public in the decision-making process of the county, be fiscally responsible, fight to fix/find solutions to get rid of the opioid/drug problem in our community and most importantly put the needs of Lycoming county’s citizens first.”

Riley and his wife, Rebekah, are the parents of one child.

They also are foster parents.