Steven Ackerman

Board of Supervisors candidate; current board member

Residence: Zionsville
E-mail address: sackerman4u@gmail.com
Campaign Web site:
Facebook page: No
Twitter account: No
Age:  44
Education: Graduated Emmaus High School 1984; Various continuing education courses provided by PennDOT/LTAP, PSATS, and Lehigh Valley Planning Commission covering subjects such as Zoning, Planning, Public Administration, and Public Works.    
Profession and employer: Public Works Coordinator, Upper Milford Township

1. Please list any community (non-elected) groups of which you are a member.

Declined to Answer

2. Please describe your previous and current elected political office history.  

Elected to Board of Supervisors 2006-Present, Serving as Chairman past 3 years to present. I have previously served in the following appointed positions: Zoning/Codes Enforcement Officer, 2 years, Building Code Official/Inspector, 2 years.

3. What motivates you to want to become a member of the Board of Supervisors?

The same motivations that led me to run for office five years ago still hold true for me today. I have no personal agenda other than the satisfaction from serving and working with our residents for the betterment of our community as a whole. We have accomplished a lot in the last five years, yet I understand there is still much more to work through and I am motivated to rolling up our sleeves and accomplishing the tasks before us in the upcoming years.

4. What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

To ensure that the Township meets its legal and ethical responsibilities, ensure the public safety and welfare of the community, set the tone for staff in dealing with the public in a fair, courteous and consistent manner, prepare and provide oversight of fiscally responsible budgets, and foster an environment of teamwork and openness.  I believe that we do that very effectively, most times going above and beyond what is required as far as keeping residents informed and encouraging public input. I have been to many pubic meetings at various municipalities and government agencies, as has many of our residents, and I think you would have to agree that there are not many if any that give the public as many opportunities to speak their mind and comment during meetings.  

5. Why should someone choose you instead of those you are running against?

I believe that I am best prepared to serve our community largely in part to my experience and background in public service at the local level.  I previously served the Township as the Zoning/Codes Enforcement officer, so I am vastly familiar with our zoning and planning ordinances as well as the procedures and issues that those departments and boards face. I have been supervisor for five years now and have a deep grasp and understanding of the issues at hand. As public works coordinator I have gained valuable knowledge and understanding of what it takes to work with state agencies such as PennDOT and DEP.

I am not a “single” issue candidate, I understand this is not a popularity contest, and as I have done in the past I am fully prepared to make the tough decisions necessary to meet the needs of the many. I was born and raised in Upper Milford Township, many of my family resides here, I have lived here my entire life, I have deep vested interest helping to keep this a great community and plan to live out my days here.

6. What do you see as the biggest opportunity facing Upper Milford Township over the next several years?

Given the present state of the economy, I believe we need to seize the opportunity to secure available grants and funding, especially as these state & federal programs are diminishing.  Reduce costs by forming inter-municipal cooperatives and partnerships with our neighboring municipalities to share equipment, resources and labor. As we are doing now to resolve the yardwaste collection dilemma, since Lehigh County announced they will no longer managing the county site as of late June 2011.

Continue on the path of smart planning and common sense recommendations/decisions from our planning commission and zoning board with respect to subdivisions and variances.  

7. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Upper Milford Township over the next several years?

There are several challenges facing us in the future, most center on the state of our economy and its slow rate of recovery and the effect that has on   municipal budgets. Rising material and service costs will continue to make meeting the most basic of essential services a challenge. Another challenge before us is the ever increasing Federal/State mandated programs that as a Township we must administer, even as the aide/funding for those programs is cutback. We need to work with our state legislators and DEP lessen and expedite the cumbersome environmental permitting process for municipalities when it comes to infrastructure projects so it does not take 6 months or longer to acquire a permit for projects such as E. Macungie Rd, which would then reduce engineering costs. 

8. What do you see as the key issues in this election?

The key issue of this election is fiscal responsibility, while still providing the basic essential services for the Township.  Our budgets are balanced and historically tight. We constantly look for ways to make our processes more efficient and for innovative ways to accomplish the tasks before us.  

Declining Earned Income Tax revenues due to the economic downturn faces us now and may continue to challenge us depending on the rate of recovery. 

9. What would you like to accomplish if elected to this position? Please be specific.

If re-elected, I will continue to improve upon my goal of a more proactive approach to governance and open door policies. Continue to find new ways to stretch our dollars, develop and implement a comprehensive safety program for staff which will then allow us to take advantage of lower rates on our insurance premiums, streamline our procedures, develop and implement a 10 year capital improvements plan to plan for repairs to the infrastructure, lobby state legislators to increase the bidding limits, which could allow us to avoid prevailing wage on smaller projects, which would open the door to more contractors bidding on projects, which produce more competition and should reduce costs, as well as providing more of an opportunity to more local vendors.  We will also be exploring lease/purchase agreements for future equipment replacement, which will allow us to keep precious Liquid Fuel disbursement monies in reserve for use in road maintenance and infrastructure projects.

10. Costly repairs to the Yeakels Mill Road bridge and East Macungie Road are on the horizon. How can the township be better prepared for infrastructure improvements in the future?

We will address future infrastructure needs by updating current and implementing new inspection programs, utilizing rating systems, similar to that of PennDOT, the data of which can then be utilized in prioritizing and planning for future projects. Develop a 10 year capital improvements infrastructure plan, use historical cost data to estimate costs so that we can plan for projects in future budgets. Competitively bid for engineering design of each project to ensure we get the best value. In the bid specification development process, look for ways that we can partner with potential contractors to provide some of our own labor force, equipment and services in an effort to reduce costs of construction.   We will seek out and evaluate alternative methods and techniques for road maintenance and advocate those deemed worthy, to PennDOT for evaluation and approval so we can use Liquid Fuels funds to pay for them. 

Republican Democrat


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »