Weston seeks GOP nod for commissioner

A Tyrone woman has announced her campaign for a Blair County commissioner seat.

Debra Myers Weston, 53, a full-time research MRI technologist and a lifelong resident of northern Blair County, said she will be a Republican candidate in the spring primary.

“Although I would be representing every citizen of Blair County in all aspects, I feel that over the years, the northern communities of Blair County do not seem to have a say in the decisions that are decided upon at a county level,” Weston said in a written statement announcing her intention.

Weston said she will focus her campaign on what’s important to Blair County communities, namely taxes.

“The reassessment of properties and the increase in millage has dramatically affected the entire county, and I feel this has been a serious injustice to hard-working people within Blair County,” Weston said. “We should be encouraging folks to become homeowners and not penalize them when they do. We don’t want to discourage our younger generations in becoming homeowners.”

She also referenced how reassessment affected retired residents.

“These people have been homeowners for many, many years and maintained their properties,” she said. “To have an organization come in years later and reassess their properties is cruel and unfair. There has to be a better way.”

Weston, making her first run for a commissioner seat, said she wants to bring in new ideas to the county’s human services program and the criminal justice system, including the county prison.

“The conditions of the Blair County Prison continue to be unsafe and unhealthy,” she said. “We need to fix any negligence happening within the prison. As mentioned by current commissioners, the state came in and did an assessment. What were the results of this assessment and were they made public? Why are there still serious issues?”

The candidate is pledging to work on efforts that will bring in business and create job opportunities. She also pledges to ask questions and pursue transparency about the ongoing drug-use crisis and the value of efforts to address it.

“I am still seeing, as well as others in the community, an overabundance of drug overdoses. Is the confidential informant program the right way to combat this problem?” she asks.

Weston, who is making her first attempt to win a commissioner’s seat, said she and her husband, Rich, have two adult children and three grandsons. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medical imaging from Mount Aloysius College and a master’s degree in adult education from Penn State.

“I have been a life-time resident of Blair County and know how much it means to our community to have confidence in our local government,” the candidate said. “It is also important to the community to have a county commissioner who is approachable and willing to hear their concerns.”