The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

November 6, 2013

Levies pass; Magestro is new trustee

By Tom Davidson
Herald Staff Writer

BROOKFIELD — Voters in Brookfield supported two public safety levies and chose a newcomer to join the board of trustees, according to unofficial election results Tuesday.

Phil Schmidt, a two-decade incumbent on the board of trustees, said he was not disappointed that voters elected Dion Magestro to replace him.

The other incumbent, Gary Lees, won handily and was the top vote-getter, garnering 1,113 votes.

Lees, who has served as a trustee since 1998, credited his re-election to his committee and a corps of volunteers.

“They’ve all been well coordinated and they believe in my vision for Brookfield,” Lees said.

Newcomer Magestro, 55, who recently retired after selling his business, The Milk Barn, said he’d like the opportunity to give back to his community.

Eight hundred seventy-one voters decided to give Magestro that chance, 53 more than the 818 who voted for Schmidt, giving the novice a term as a trustee.

Magestro said he’s registered as a Republican but will soon be changing to an independent. He couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

“I’ve been there for 20 years and there’s nothing wrong with bringing in new blood and new ideas,” Schmidt said. “I didn’t actively campaign. I had some ideas, but I’ll give those to Gary and Dion and I can go fishing.”

Ron Haun rounds out the three-member trustees board.

Voters in Brookfield also faced two levy questions and they supported both police and fire levies Tuesday.

The police department’s is a 1.6-mill renewal levy that doesn’t add new taxes, but merely continues an existing levy passed in 1976.

It passed with 1,074 “yes” votes and only 698 “nos,” according to unofficial results.

“Our police need that support,” Lees said. “I’m very happy with the results. I think the voters have spoken in support of that because of the need.”

Fire Chief Keith Barrett said the new 1.3-mill fire levy will bring the department about $150,000 a year and would allow him to hire staff and reopen the closed Masury substation, which has been shuttered for about eight months.

The levy passed with 989 “yes” votes to 786 “no” votes, according to unofficial results.