One incumbent and a challenger are running for an open Unity Township supervisor seat in the May 18 primary election.
John Mylant is seeking re-election, while Doug Murphy is vying for a six-year term. Both are running on the Republican ticket.
A 12-year Unity Township supervisor, Mylant supports holding the line on taxes, creating recreation opportunities for residents and continuing support for the township’s local fire departments.
“Raising taxes is not an option for me,” he said. “Working with fellow supervisors and staff to receive more grants for projects such as parks and infrastructure.”
Mylant has been a lifelong resident of Unity Township. He and his wife Betsy have two children.
Their daughter is a senior at Greater Latrobe, and their son is a junior at Penn State University.
Mylant said the supervisors monitor revenues and expenditures throughout the year which allows the township to make adjustments so there are no shortfalls at the end of the year — which he said is one reason why supervisors have not raised taxes and have been able to work within the budget.
“As a Unity Township supervisor, I have listened to you and responded to the needs of our community,” he said. “I have worked hard to implement sound public policy and meet your expectations of what good local government should be.”
Mylant wants to create better communication for township residents and to maintain a strong tax base without raising taxes to continue working within our budget.”
“I would like to continue to make Unity an attractive place for young families,” he said.
Murphy, 59, a lifelong Unity Township resident, hopes to bring “new blood, new leadership, a new voice and new visions,” as well as his 38 years of business experience to help with township operations.
While working in Pittsburgh, Murphy studied business management at Westmoreland County Community College. He also ran heavy equipment for 35 years in a supplemental excavating enterprise.
He and his wife, Nadine, have been married for 31 years and have a daughter, Kayla.
Murphy explained that it is critical to have someone new on the board so that there is a fresh set of ideas to improve the township. Murphy plans on having a better system in place by answering and returning phone calls in a timely manner.
“We need to have good communication with our residents and hear what they have to say,” he said.
Murphy emphasized that it is important to develop good relationships with residents, who should not have to wait to know answers.
In addition to working with heavy equipment, Murphy said he would bring decades of business management skills to local government. He cited experience in human resources, budgeting and working with vendors. He noted that he would emphasize teamwork among township staff.
Murphy explained that he wants to work on financing and budgeting, including the development of a business plan every three years to set realistic goals for the township. He also said containing taxes and expanding recreation for children would be among his goals as a supervisor.
Murphy emphasized that he would want to attend the township’s planning commission and zoning hearing board meetings as a supervisor “so that Unity Township knows they can come to me for anything.”