Billy Shreve, chairman of the county board of zoning appeals, is "seriously considering" running for county commissioner.
Translation: Billy will announce his candidacy as a Republican candidate in the next month or two -- in plenty of time for the September GOP primary.
Although Billy, 38, a city resident, has been active in a wide variety of community and business activities, he is not widely known outside of political circles. In fact, Billy says people have such trouble pronouncing his name that he has come up with a rhyming slogan to ease the problem, "Believe in Shreve."
Billy is among the long line of would-be or over-the-hill politicians who have been panelists on Adelphia 10's "Pressing Issues." Let's hope that the new cablevision owner, Comcast, keeps the show alive if for no other reason than to act as a tryout stage for would-be candidates. Sort of an amateur hour for political talent.
He has just joined the show, so hopefully he will be able to get in a few more appearances before he is forced to retire when his campaign begins. Candidates Kai Hagen and Tim Brooks recently had to leave the show when they announced they were running for office.
Billy, as they say in the trade, "jumps out of the set." His good looks and warm personality are made for TV. And he doesn't mumble like some of the panelists. He also speaks in easy-to-understand declarative sentences, unlike some of the panelists.
He is another pro-developer candidate, which puts three of the four Republican candidates, the incumbents Mike Cady and John Lovell and Billy, on the side of the builders. The lone GOP warrior, Lennie Thompson, a very likely candidate, is on the other side.
Billy has been selling commercial real estate with Tony Checchia at the Frederick Land Co. and also peddles houses and townhouses for Natelli Communities, which is developing a mini-metropolis in Urbana.
Billy supports everybody, including Lennie, although he disagrees with most of Lennie's views on growth. Billy figures it's good to have a dissenting opinion on the board.
If you want to picture the developers as the greedy bad guys, Billy doesn't fit the stereotype. He is no bad guy cast in the mold of, say, Billy the Kid. Our Billy is a non-confrontational pleasant personality in the style of Mayor Jeff Holtzinger, one of his heroes. Billy was a freshman football player at Thomas Johnson when Jeff was the star running back leading the varsity to a state championship.
Here's part of Billy's platform to help "the little guy." (What's he trying to do? Steal Lennie's thunder?):
Billy wants to introduce legislation giving preference in the moderate income housing program to school teachers, firefighters and police officers who are having trouble finding houses they can afford.
And he wants broad property tax relief for senior citizens. He is proposing a "pioneer" tax freeze for anyone over 65 who has lived in the county 25 years. There is no means test, as the current law requires.
Billy also wants a "practical difficulty" zoning variance provision standard so that sick seniors can make additions to their houses, like first floor master suites, and don't have to move.
He sounds a bit like a New-Dealer, doesn't he?
Maybe, he ought to run in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.