Meet the Candidate: David Gregory
Fairview Township Supervisor
My family, both on my dad's and mom's side of the family, have been Fairview residents back into the 1800s. My wife and I have been residents of Fairview our entire lives. My parents both graduated from Fairview, my three brothers graduated from Fairview, my wife and I graduated from Fairview and my two sons have graduated from Fairview. As you can see I'm very well rooted in the Fairview community.
As I said, I graduated from Fairview High School and Clarion University of PA with a degree in Finance. I've done everything in the Bank/Credit Union world from being a branch manager to Chief Financial Officer. I'm currently the Compliance Officer with Andover Bank based out of Andover, Ohio. In the addition to that we also run a little roadside vegetable stand right on Rte 5 just east of White Hall Village. Started with just pumpkins in the fall to where we are today. We start with strawberries and asparagus in June straight through to pumpkins in October. We're big animal lovers. Having provided a home to many dogs and cats through the years. I enjoy hunting, fishing, working out, Penn State and all the Pittsburgh professional teams. I've never had any legal problems including never even getting a speeding ticket.
Having lived in Fairview my whole life everything in the community is very important to me. The residents, the school district, businesses, fire department and the township are all important. Getting all of them to work together towards making our community a safer, better place to live is my ultimate goal.
Why are you running for Fairview Township Supervisor?
Actually, I've discussed being a township supervisor through the years with the current supervisor Pete Kraus. Pete and I graduated high school together. So he knows me and my family. He thought I would be a good fit because I have business knowledge on one side and I've operated farm equipment my whole life. Fairview Township supervisors are working supervisors so in addition to having knowledge on the business side you also have to know how to run the equipment. In addition, I also already have my Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL) so I am fully able to contribute by walking in the door. I don't believe this is really a political job. It shouldn't come down to who has the most friends in the township. Unfortunately, there isn't an interview process so the residents don't really get a chance to look at our resume and ask us questions. I just hope that whichever candidate gets elected they bring to the job knowledge to do the job and do what's best for Fairview Township. I've already have told some that if elected I would stay for two 6 years terms if I was lucky enough to get re-elected for a second term. Then, I would retire and let someone else add their skills and talent to help run our fine community.
What are your top three priorities you wish to work on if elected?
1) Slow and steady growth in Fairview Township. In all areas from business to residents. If a community grows too quickly it can really burden infrastructure, school district and fire departments.
2) Continue with the improvement of the Fairview "downtown" area. Continue to make sure that it continues to look like a community where people want to raise a family.
3) Make sure that Fairview Township gets its share of Federal and State grant money that may come available for equipment upgrades and projects within the township.
How would you be an advocate for key education initiatives such as the Erie County Community College, K-12 education, and early education as they relate to workforce development?
Since being elected as a Harborcreek Township Supervisor I along with my colleagues have worked to establish a strong relationship with educational organizations in Harborcreek including the Harbor Creek School District and Penn State Erie and would certainly look forward to communicating with the Erie County Community College for the purpose of relaying to them what workforce abilities not only the township is looking for but for local businesses as well.
How will you work to advocate for the modernization of public health infrastructure and encourage public/private partnerships to address deficiencies in our public health system?
As the pandemic has shown the world you can never be prepared for everything. The modernization of public health data systems can only help to better our health care system. The efficient exchange of information between the public sector and private sector can do nothing but improve the care that ultimately the residents receive. I would advocate as much influence as I could as a township supervisor toward this initiative.
According to TrackTheRecovery.org, Erie County is estimated to have lost over 28% of small businesses. How would you work to encourage financial stability within local and state governments without overburdening the small business community?
As a township, we have to make it as inviting as possible without "giving away the shop" as they say. Fairview Township has an industrial park that still has area for future businesses. I know in our case we can't make it so restrictive that a potential business will find it so difficult to meet all the requirements that they decide to take their business and jobs somewhere else.
Our community is expecting a total of $225 million or more in American Recovery Plan funds. As a community leader, how would you prioritize this funding?
I believe Fairview is in pretty good shape fiscally. However, these funds could help stabilize the township's operating budget for years to come. Allow the township to make upgrades to equipment and help with other projects that have been in the planning stages to years. I just hope that when we look back 10 years from now we made the best use of the funds provided.
Pittsburgh has seen success with tools such as Tax Increment Finance and Transit Revitalization Investment District to spur their City’s revitalization. Are you willing to make long-term investments in economic development?
Obviously, I would want to do whatever is possible to improve my community. In my community, Fairview Township, for which I'm running for supervisor we do not have these areas. However, in my business of banking through the Community Reinvestment Act or CRA we have to make sure that we're are making investments of both time and money to MMCT's or Major Minority Census Tracts which many of these areas are located. In the City of Erie we do have these areas. In reviewing both Opportunity Zones and Tax Increment Finance there are examples of success and failure. There seems to be a fine line between whether a plan works or not. So I believe that each individual instance would have to be looked at to make sure that there would be the least chance of failure and the community being influenced badly.