PINE TOWNSHIP – The Pine Township supervisors’ race includes an incumbent and a candidate who got enough write-in votes to make it through the spring primary.
Jeanine L. Thompson, a current supervisor, is on the Republican ticket, while Paula Renninger is on the Democratic ballot. There is one open seat on the three-person board of supervisors.
Both women ran on the Republican ticket in May, with Thompson receiving the most votes. Renninger received 43 write-in votes from Democrats.
Renninger thanked those who took the time to write in her name for the position, which lasts six years. She vows to represent voters from all parties.
She’s been learning a lot since the primary and said that the whole process has been a worthwhile experience.
“Anybody who’s in office deserves a large round of applause,” she said.
Pennsylvania has more local governing bodies than most states; the founding fathers wanted government in the hands of the people, she said.
Rennigner, a health and wellness coach who owns a business, has visited almost every home in the township, educating residents about what the township and supervisors do for the constituents.
She believes the most pressing issue for the township is the landfill that Tri-County Industries Inc. has proposed for its property in Pine and Liberty townships.
Residents are very concerned about those plans and how it could impact the township. They’re also concerned about lack of reliable high-speed internet, which seems to be a slow process, she said.
The township also needs to look at its infrastructure, as a number of properties deal with flooding or standing water when it rains.
And a large green space with room for gatherings would be a good addition to the park, Renninger said.
She believes the town can grow, but people need to work together to create a thriving community.
She is grateful to live and work in this area, where she raised her three kids with her late husband, Jon Gruber: Tim, Jordan and Jocelyn.
Her two sons are officers in the Naval Academy, and her daughter was named Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen in 2010. She’s now a chemistry and physics teacher.
Their success is a testament to the supportive community, she said.
Renninger enjoys spending time with her family; she and her husband David have five grandchildren and one on the way.
She belongs to East Main Presbyterian Church, where she volunteers for community outreach programs, and bakes for Meals on Wheels.
She’s organized two community cleanups in the township as part of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. A third is expected to happen in November.
She started a local group for the Buy Nothing Project, where people give away or borrow items for free
Renninger is also part of Miss Teen Volunteer America and volunteers with the Modern Widows Club.
Thompson has served as supervisor for six years, and she has worked as the township’s treasurer and secretary for 13 years.
“If re-elected, I will continue to work hard to improve our township,” she said.
She has 23 years of experience working in local government, which includes working for the public works and utility departments for Grove City borough for 10 years.
She previously worked as a real estate agent for Harshaw’s Real Estate for 10 years.
Thompson is treasurer for both the Pine Harrisville Authority and the Grove City Council of Governments.
She considers her experience in local government to be invaluable. As the township’s secretary and treasurer, she handles utility bills, payroll, accounts payable and receivable and all of the bank accounts, and she deals with the public.
The township is audited four times a year, and the findings are “flawless,” she said. Thompson has a good working relationship with township employees and Pine Township Engine Company.
Working out of the township office means that she gets to see things unfold in real time, which helps her make decisions more accurately.
She has attended all public and private meetings regarding the landfill, which has come before the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection multiple times. She has continually voted against it.
Thompson is a member of Grace United Methodist Church and is a graduate of Grove City High School and Penn State University.
She’s lived in the Grove City area her entire life, and her husband Doug has worked for Montgomery Truss and Panel for 36 years.
She has two sons, Michael and Ryan Richards, and a granddaughter, Alexis Richards.
“I truly care about the community that we all live in,” she said.