By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item
WATSONTOWN — The vice president of the Borough Council will run for mayor this year, leaving his seat after nearly eight years.
Harry Hefty, 64, announced his intention to run for the post after incumbent Mayor David Hontz said he would not seek re-election.
Hefty said he was sorry to see Hontz leave.
“He has done an excellent job as mayor,” Hefty said.
As mayor, Hefty said he would focus on cooperation among the borough’s government and different agencies throughout the area.
“I feel the mayor should work well with council, and I believe I will,” he said. “I (also) want to see the best working relationship with Watsontown borough and the Warrior Run Area Fire Department. I want to work to make that happen.”
In the long term, Hefty said there are other issues that many municipalities are dealing with.
“The questions really are, ‘How do you manage rentals?’ ‘How do you develop your town?’” he said.
As part of his campaign for mayor, Hefty will not seek re-election to his 3rd Ward council seat.
Hefty is a native of Watsontown who returned to the area in 1981 after graduating from the University of Colorado and working as a physical therapist in North Carolina and Indiana.
Hefty first ran for the council after noticing some issues in the borough he hoped to correct, he said.
“I felt like the town was going in the wrong direction,” he said. “The budget wasn’t balanced. ... There were problems to be solved.”
Hefty and his wife, Sue, have three children and six grandchildren. Hefty is employed as a home health physical therapist with Susquehanna Health.
With Hefty announcing his run for mayor, two of the six seats are open on the Borough Council.
Patricia Yeager, who represents the 1st Ward, also is running for another municipal position, Hefty said.
Council members are elected to four-year terms. Nominating petitions to be on the spring primary ballot must be submitted by March 12.
Anyone interested in making a difference in the borough should consider running for a seat, Hefty said.
“Most people think the time is not now, that they’re going to do it later,” he said. “But ‘someday’ is right now.”
The positions don’t require a lot of time, just commitment, he said.
“You’ll know where you’ll be the first Monday of every month,” he said.