I'm Rick Wilbur and I am a candidate for Wyoming County Commissioner on the Republican ballot.
For the second year in a row, property taxes have been increased by current County Commissioners. Many taxpayers are on fixed budgets and cannot afford the tax increases that are the result of poor budget management and decisions. We need to hold the line of spending and not simply increase taxes because spending was allowed to get out of control. We need fiscal responsibility which requires a commissioner with extensive experience preparing budgets and controlling costs and the ability to understand complicated financial reports. 40 years of experience doing just that makes me the most qualified candidate for this position and I promise to be a steward of your tax money if elected.
Many of you know me because of my position as an Exeter Township Supervisor, my many years as a Republican committeeman, member of the Wyoming County Republican Executive Committee and most recently Vice Chairman of our Republican Party.
My life experience includes much more than an involvement in politics. I was born into a family dedicated to helping others and that attitude was instilled in me at a very young age. My father, Butch Wilbur, became a volunteer fireman and served as Chief of the Falls Fire Company for over 30 years shortly after serving in the Air Force. After the merger of the Falls and Lake Winola Fire companies, he continued as a driver of the ambulance and fire apparatus until finally retiring at age 75.
As happens many times to those growing up in this type of family, I became actively involved as an EMT, Ambulance Captain, Treasurer and Trustee of the Falls Fire Company. During my tenure as Treasurer, we modernized the Falls Fire Company by adding a two bay addition to our existing building, constructing Volunteer Hall that was used for many years as the social center of Exeter Township, purchased and refurbished a pumper from the Binghamton Fire Department that was in service for many years and purchased a new ambulance. All of this was done with fiscal prudence and made the Falls Hose Company one of the most efficient and financially sound companies in the area.
As my two children, Erica and Jeffrey became older I had to change direction a bit and become active in their athletic endeavors. As a baseball, softball and basketball coach, I got to know and interact with hundreds of young athletes and I cherish those memories to this day. I find nothing more thrilling than walking down the aisle while shopping and hearing someone yelling "Coach" after all those years. During those years, they kept me busy with other activities I didn't coach including dance, soccer, swimming, Tai Kwan Do and others until they finally reached Junior High age. I then passed their coaching responsibilites on and rarely missed a game or meet during their junior high and high school years.
During my whole life, I've been involved in so many causes and charitable events it's difficult to remember them all. I don't think there 's been a cause in my area that I haven't been actively involved in. From benefits for those with debilitating illness, victims of fire and floods and so many others I have been one of the first to offer my help and lend my expertise to making every endeavor a success. Friends still cringe when they see me because I'm always soliciting for one cause or another.
One of the most gratifying endeavors of my life was the work our township did to help those affected by the devastating flood in September 2011. All roads along the Susquehanna River were underwater. Homes, cottages and the roads themselves sustained substantial damage and many needed to be evacuated. As chairman of the Board of Supervisors, I took the lead organizing the evacuation and temporary shelter for our residents. The Red Cross set up an evacuation center at the Falls Senior Center and then moved to Emanon Country Club as the river level continued to rise. In the weeks following this flood, we dealt with FEMA, PEMA, local EMA officials, Emergency personnel and hundreds of volunteers to help the affected residents.
After waters finally receded and we could see the extent of the devastation, the process of rebuilding began. With so many affected property owners and so much infrastructure destroyed, it took years before recovery and buyouts were complete. As supervisors, we rolled up our sleeves and did everything we could for our residents. Years later, I wish I had a Fitbit so I could have kept track how many miles of roads we walked surveying damage and getting rebuilding estimates. There's not one person involved in the buyout, whether they took it or not who I didn't meet on numerous occasions to help with their paperwork and help with its submission. Now, nearly 8 years later Exeter Township has returned to as normal as it could be considering how many residents no longer live here because of the FEMA buyouts.
I'm especially proud of the almost $200K renovations to George Hock Memorial Park in FEMA funding after the flood that added pavilions, new playground equipment and many other amenities. Since then, a group was set up to further improve the park and Exeter Township was named a Susquehanna River Town and additional improvements will take place soon because of their efforts. As part of that effort, our first annual River Celebration was held 2 years ago and unfortunately was cancelled this past year because of flooding. Next year it will be back bigger and better than ever.
In addition to being a leader for these many activities, I've been actively involved organizing other community events including the Emanon Golf Tournament to benefit Autism, Cow Pie Bingo to benefit the Falls Lions, Hose Company and Athletic Association and many others. In short, I've dedicated my life to helping others and will continue doing that as long as I'm able.
I've lived most of my life in Falls and Exeter Townships and spent my professional life as an accountant, Corporate Controller and small business owner. Most recently, I served as Corporate Controller for EASE Diagnostics, an automotive diagnostics designer and manufacturer for about 20 years. During that time and for many years before, I've had a successful accounting and tax preparation practice.
Several years ago, EASE Diagnostics was purchased by DENSO Corporation and I was a major part of the team negotiating the buyout. About a year after the buyout I made the decision to leave my full time position as Corporate Controller and concentrate on my part time tax preparation practice. In order to offer expanded services to my clients, I successfully received licenses to sell insurance, become a Financial Advisor and added a well qualified partner to assist in those duties. I also hired a capable assistant to help me with tax preparation to streamline that process and allow my full time commitment as County Commissioner.
I strongly feel that the position of County Commissioner needs to be treated as a full time position and I pledge that I will do my best to be there for you. The way I've structured my part time business will allow me to spend all the time necessary to fulfill that pledge and I will be a regular at the courthouse.
In my opinion, the position as County Commissioner should not be a lifetime career. It should be for a short duration to insure that new ideas come to the table. Regular turnover of commissioners also insures that entrenchment ends and long term relationships between commissioners and vendors cannot happen. Contracts need to be reviewed constantly and put out for bid even if not required by law. I believe that there is waste that is being overlooked because of complacency because of so many years on the job. It's easy to continue with status quo and not consider change when you have been in office for many years and you expect that to continue.
The job of County Commissioner is a fiduciary position and a Commissioner should be a steward of taxpayer's money. In my 40 years as an employee, financial professional and volunteer with financial responsibility for various groups, I have performed that duty without fail or question. I believe that my experience is what Wyoming County needs and I am eminently qualified to be your next County Commissioner.
If you believe I am qualified to be your next Wyoming County Commissioner then I urge you to vote for me. I will make two promises to the voters of Wyoming County : 1) I will do my utmost best to be a steward of your tax money and treat the position of County Commissioner as a full time fiduciary position responsible to you the taxpayer, and 2) If elected, I will only run for re-election for one more term. I believe that 8 years should be the maximum that a commissioner is in office and all candidates should take a pledge to honor that commitment. After 8 years, the torch should be passed to someone with fresh ideas and no ties or commitment to existing vendors and contracts.
I've lived in Exeter Twp. for years working hard to make it a better place. As a Township Supervisor for 17 years, I've been a conservative caretaker of township finances, kept taxes low with balanced budgets and never had a derogatory finding in any of the many audits we've undergone over the years. I took the lead guiding Exeter Township through the tragedy of several floods and brought home hundreds of thousands of dollars for residents for buyouts, cleanup and infrastructure repair. As your new County Commissioner, I pledge to you that I will continue to roll up my sleeves, work hard and do whatever it takes to solve any problem at hand no matter how big or small. I also promise that I will treat the position as County Commissioner as a job and will be a regular at the courthouse. You can't know what's going on if you're not there on a regular basis. Of course there are outside and evening obligations that will take some time away but I promise I won't be a stranger.
I can't win this race without your help. Here are a few things that will help
Every Little Bit Helps . Even $10
Helps To Buy a Few Yard Signs
Rick Wilbur 2614B Sullivan Trail Falls PA 18615
No Corporate Checks Can Be Accepted