Special to Franklin County Free Press
CHAMBERSBURG – Kathy Leedy, a lifelong resident of Chambersburg, is seeking to be re-elected to Chambersburg Borough Council.
Leedy represents the Third Ward and is seeking the Democratic nomination in the May 21 primary election. She also is seeking write-in votes from Republicans.
“Concerns about budgets, speeding, street repairs, sidewalks, flooding and other local issues are not Democratic or Republican issues — they are people issues,” she said. “I strive to represent everyone in the Third Ward,” she said.
Leedy supports investments in infrastructure and policies that encourage job creation and retention (such as improvements at Southgate Shopping Center).
Investments like these enable Chambersburg to have the lowest composite utility rates in Pennsylvania, she said.
Extending natural gas lines into more Third Ward neighborhoods this year will result in additional energy savings for homeowners.
“Many people do not realize this, but a typical Borough of Chambersburg household that uses Borough electric and natural gas saves enough on those utilities to pay their $534 per year average Borough real estate taxes,” she said. “Those taxes pay for police and fire services, as well as things like putting a new roof on the recreation center.”
As a member of Borough Council, Leedy chairs the Parking, Traffic and Street Light Committee and serves as a Borough representative on the Franklin County Council of Governments.
She has attended every Borough Council meeting since being elected in 2015, and also has a 100 percent attendance record as a member of three Borough committees.
“I have been accessible to Third Ward residents and business owners, and I bring their concerns to the attention of the appropriate borough staff,” she said. “I am proud to say that I have been able to help nearly everyone who has reached out to me in the past four years.”
Leedy also regularly attends the Borough’s Curb and Sidewalk Committee meetings, representing constituents who do not want to install sidewalks on their properties at their expense.
“I have done extensive legal research to make the case for an exemption from sidewalks in the southwestern edge of town. A decision has not yet been made, but I remain hopeful that many properties in the Third Ward will be exempted from a sidewalk mandate because of unique circumstances in this ward,” she said.
“Without my efforts to change the policy, sidewalk requirements would kick in automatically whenever a homeowner’s street is repaved. I do not believe that a one-size-fits-all sidewalk policy works.”
The Borough is working on a new sidewalk map, with discussion to be focused on the Third and Fifth Wards at the April 18 meeting of the Curb and Sidewalk Committee.
Leedy’s efforts also have led to additional street lighting in the alleys by Mike Waters Memorial Park and the Chambersburg recreation center, on Orchard Drive near the Norfolk-Southern railroad crossing and at U.S. 11 and Eisenhower Drive.
Digital speed limit signs have been placed on Progress Road and Hollywell Avenue in an effort to improve safety in those neighborhoods.
Leedy and Borough staff recently contacted Norfolk-Southern about a railroad crossing on Orchard Drive badly in need of repair.
Two of her constituents witnessed an accident at the crossing and it was repaired soon afterward.
The current Borough Council also is improving Henninger Field, recently approving tennis court upgrades and adding pickleball.
A lease of the baseball field brought about much needed repairs to the historic field, with most of the repairs paid by Wilson College.
New playground equipment was added last year at Henninger and most borough parks, replacing 25-year-old equipment.
Leedy was a newspaper editor/manager for nearly 30 years and worked another six years as communications director of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce before retiring in 2014.
At the Chamber of Commerce, Leedy promoted Chambersburg, local businesses, non-profits and tourism. She is a former board member of the Franklin County Historical Society.
She is a graduate of Shippensburg University, where she was honored in 2012 by the Communication/Journalism Department with its Outstanding Alumni Award.
Leedy also has been an adjunct instructor at Wilson College, teaching courses in communications and ethics.
Winners in the May 21 primary election will appear on the Nov. 5 election ballot, and those elected in the fall will be sworn into office in January 2020.