Commissioner Paul W. Heimel Seeking Re-election

Candidate’s news release

Potter County Commissioner Paul W. Heimel

Paul W. Heimel of Coudersport is running for re-election as a member of the Potter County Board of Commissioners, subject to the May 17 Republican Primary Election.

A lifelong resident of Potter County, he became familiar with the county and its citizens, as well as local issues and concerns, during a 20-year career as a local newspaper editor.

As a commissioner, Heimel has spearheaded a concerted effort to improve communications with constituents and to stay ahead of the multiple issues related to Marcellus Shale natural gas development through leadership of the widely acclaimed Potter County Natural Gas Task Force.

The communications initiative has involved the development of an internet-based information service that’s updated daily; a popular and functional county government website that has increased efficiencies and convenience for the public; a concerted effort to pull together township and borough officials for training and educational initiatives, and an open-door policy for constituents.

In connection with the Natural Gas Task Force, Heimel has worked with his colleagues to organize a countywide water protection work group and has engaged with gas industry leaders, environmental groups, business owners and regulatory agencies for a broad-based perspective.

He has also supported economic development initiatives that have been a factor in a steady decline in the county’s unemployment rate. At the same time, through greater efficiencies and attrition, the county’s work force has been reduced and – despite higher costs and drastic cuts in state and federal funding for mandated services – county taxes have increased by just 1.25 mills in five years.

Heimel graduated from Coudersport Area High School and was an honor student at Penn State University, majoring in political science and journalism. He returned home to join the family-owned local newspaper, where he served as a reporter and editor before being named corporate communications manager for Adelphia Communications Corp., a position he held for more than a decade.

This unique combination of public advocacy as a journalist, corporate management in the private sector, and four years as a county commissioner has prepared Heimel to serve for another term.

He has been a member of the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Potter County Historical Society, Austin Dam Memorial Association, First Presbyterian Church of Coudersport, Potter County Council on the Arts, International Association of Business Communicators and chaired the Employee Volunteer Committee and the Employee Recognition Program at Adelphia.

He has also served as a Little League baseball coach, Blood Drive Chairman for the American Red Cross, as a radio sportscaster, and he has assisted local charitable and civic organizations with public relations activities. Additionally, he has written several books on local history.

Heimel is active in policy development and advocacy for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, serving on its Energy, Environment and Land Use Committee, as well as its Natural Gas Task Force.
The candidate is married to the former Lugene Lewis of Coudersport. They have five sons.

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