Alfred, Lesher file to retain BPW seats

Three seats up for election in May
February 28, 2014

Incumbents C. Wendell Alfred and Jack Lesher are seeking to retain their seats on the city's Board of Public Works.

Both recently filed to run for another two-year term in the Saturday, May 10 election. Three seats are up for election this year, including that of BPW Director Jim Richmann, who has not yet filed to run. The deadline to file to be a candidate is 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 3.

Alfred, 64, has been the board president since June 2011. He has been a BPW director since 2002, when he was appointed to the panel by late Mayor George H.P. Smith.

Alfred has been board treasurer and secretary and served eight years as vice president. He is a graduate of Northern Virginia Community College and holds a degree in occupational safety and health technology.

Alfred said the good working relationship he has with his fellow directors was one of the key factors in his decision to run for another term.

“I enjoy the camaraderie we have,” he said. “We've learned to agree to disagree while continuing our respect for each other and our mission.”

With the city's roadways in good shape and the water distribution center and sewer plant operating smoothly, Alfred said, it's time for the board to focus on cutting down its debt and maintaining the city's infrastructure.

“Our mission going forward is to look at infrastructure,” he said. “We've got some aging pipes in the ground. Most of the streets have been completed, but it's almost like starting over. We need make sure our pipes are capable of delivering the clean drinking water the city known for.”

Lesher, 81, is a certified public accountant with 30 years of experience. He has been an accountant for small and medium-sized businesses and served as managing partner for a regional accounting firm in Lancaster, Pa., before moving to Lewes.

Lesher was appointed to the panel by Mayor Jim Ford in 2011. He was re-elected in 2012 and now serves as the board's treasurer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

Much like Alfred, Lesher said the dynamic of the current BPW board is very productive.

“The board has a great composition of members,” he said. “It has been a very workable board because we all seem to be able to work together in harmony without a lot of infighting.”

Among his top priorities moving forward is paying off the BPW's debt.