Erb seeking second term

Commissioner has been on board since January 2016

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County Commissioner Bruce Erb is asking voters to keep him in office for a second four-year term.

Erb, who is seeking the Republican nomination in the May primary, kicked off his re-election campaign Tuesday night at the American Legion Social Hall, Hollidaysburg, by addressing supporters and friends.

Erb retired as director of trust services for First National Bank prior to being sworn in as a first-term commissioner in January 2016.

“I promised to take the sound principles and best practices that I learned from my private sector financial experiences and apply them to make county government more efficient, responsive, accessible and user-friendly,” Erb said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “And although that’s what I have done so far, there is still much work to do.”

During his first term in office, the candidate said he led efforts “to turn the county pension fund from the brink of bankruptcy,” instituted initiatives saving the county over $1 million annually in expenses and was instrumental in improving budgeting practices and financial control.

“In 2018,” Erb said, “the county had its first general fund/budget operating surplus since at least 2011.”

Erb also said that he, along with Judge Daniel J. Milliron, were successful in arranging for the state Department of Corrections to conduct a full-scale assessment of operations at the Blair County Prison, at no cost to the county. The study has improved security, hiring practices, staffing and safety conditions, Erb said.

Erb named the following as priorities for his second term as commissioner:

Continue to seek more cost savings and innovations to improve county cost-efficiency and services.

Establish a long-term plan to bring the pension fund to fully-funded status.

Work with the courts to help reform the criminal justice system, reduce recidivism and provide job opportunities for former inmates.

Push Harrisburg harder to end the unfunded mandates and relieve the county taxpayers of paying for services that the state is legally obligated to provide.

Attract more employers and young people to Blair County through efforts with local economic development groups such as the Altoona-Blair County Development Corp.

Bruce and his wife, Cathy, reside in Hollidaysburg. They are the parents of four children and five grandchildren.