Best to run for commissioner in 2015
SUNBURY - A former Northumberland County chief clerk and assistant solicitor who sued the county for wrongful termination and defamation (see story above) has announced her candidacy for county commissioner.
Attorney Kymberley Best of Sunbury said she will enter the race as a Democrat for a seat on the three-member board in the 2015 election. The current commissioners - chairman Vinny Clausi, Richard Shoch and Stephen Bridy - have not confirmed yet if they will seek re-election.
Best said the recent decision by Clausi and Bridy to reduce the salaries of most elected officials by 42.4 percent to 48.4 percent and require them to pay 50 percent of the county's contribution toward health benefits "motivated" her to run for commissioner.
The 43-year-old Best said she wants to rid the county of the negativity and infighting displayed by the current board of commissioners.
During a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon, Best said, "My heart is in county government and it's never left me. I've kept a close watch on what's going on since I was fired because the commissioners' decisions with respect to the court personally affect me as an attorney."
She added, "The decision to cut the salaries caused me to come forward and campaign for commissioner. I believe it's wrong to cut the salaries so drastically without proper notice. I work with these people (row officers) every day in the courthouse and I respect the jobs they do. They have been elected to the office and in many cases, they have been re-elected, which reflects the public's opinion of their job performance."
Best said the decision by Bridy and Clausi (Shoch opposed the salary and health care actions) to reduce the commissioners' salaries from $61,000 to $31,500, which won't take effect until 2016, will have no bearing on her decision to seek the office.
"I believe the commissioners' salaries are a bit high," Best said. "I would work for nothing right now and give the commissioners free advice if they wanted it."
Best said she's determined to bring business into the county and believes the county's political instability has had a negative impact in attracting industry.
Best considers herself a "conservative Democrat" who would be willing to work with other political parties.
She said her experience as chief clerk and assistant solicitor will definitely help her if elected to the position.
She served as assistant solicitor from January 2009 until 2010 when she became chief clerk before being fired March 18, 2011, from her $70,000 per year job.