Our guest this week are Bruno Schickel, the Republican and Independence Party candidate for supervisor of the Town of Dryden, and Deb Shigley, who is a candidate for the town council with the same party affiliation. Jim Drew, the other candidate on the slate was not able to make it.
The Republican candidates assert that the Democratically controlled town government is over-spending on a number of fronts, depleting the towns “savings account” and that it is pushing for a zoning law that will be oppressive to the residents and hinder development. The Republicans also oppose the new zoning law that bans heavy industry in the town, effectively barring hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction.
The Democratic candidates are due to appear on our November 6 broadcast.
Kai Schafft, a professor of rural sociology at Pennsylvania State University, has completed an extensive survey of schools in small towns in the region of Pennsylvania that is experiencing build out related to natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale. He and his team had expected to see an influx of children into the school, but gas industry workers do not bring their families with them when they come to the state to work. Many schools own land and have leased it, giving them an income through signing bonuses and royalties, but it does not make up for the cuts to schools in the state budget. Schafft has not finished analysis of the data yet. We will talk about preliminary observations.
Schafft is the director of the Center on Rural Education and Communities.