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Centre, Mifflin, Perry, Juniata, Union Counties, PA November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Jon Eich

Candidate for
State Senator; District 34

This information is provided by the candidate


Elected official, former county administrator, and former community planner with 30 years experience.


  • The Pennsylvania State University, 1992, MS Geography
  • Susquehanna University, 1977, BA Political Science and Economics


Commissioner, Centre County - January 2008 - date. Primary functions are policy making and budgeting. Centre County has 35 departments, 890 employees, and an $80 million annual budget. As a County Commissioner, Jon serves on:

  • The SEDA-COG Board of Directors (an 11-county planning & economic development organization).
  • The Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (which allocates transportation funds).
  • The Centre County MH/MR Advisory Board.
  • The Centre County Emergency Communications Advisory Board, (which is overseeing the upgrade to the 9-1-1 system).
  • The Seven Mountains EMS Council Board (a 4 county organization assisting emergency medical service providers).

Centre County Commissioners Office - September 1999 to December 2003. Director of Administrative Services/Chief Clerk. Assisted Commissioners with development of policy, priorities and implementation of projects. Served as interim Emergency Management Coordinator for 3 months and on Emergency Operations Center team (as Public Information Officer) for 4 years. Encouraged Commissioners to double funding levels for ag land preservation; initiated solicitation of municipal funds. Encouraged Housing Coordinator to obtain additional funding for subsidized housing in the county. Assisted in the planning, development, and funding of the new Centre County Prison. Assisted in the planning for the proposed Centre County Fire & Emergency Management Training Facility. Encouraged Commissioners to unify 911 communications by purchasing radios for four small ambulance systems.

Centre County Planning - November 1979 to August 1999. Final position held: Assistant Director. Administrative duties: Supervised staff and projects; advised elected and appointed officials; prepared grant applications; administered grant programs: developed GIS products.

Transportation Planning: Coordinated preparation of Moshannon Valley COG's testimony before the State Transportation Commission. Coordinated efforts to take over Mid-State Airport from the state.

Community Development: Coordinated activities of the Moshannon Valley Council of Governments. Coordinated the creation of three authorities (Mid-State Regional Airport Authority, the Mountaintop Regional Water Authority, and the Centre County Water Authority). Served as County Ag Land Preservation Coordinator. Facilitator of a project that involved the sale of 2,200 acres overlooking Bald Eagle State Park to the Game Commission to establish State Game Lands 323. Participated in efforts to create the Lumber Heritage Region. Convinced EPA Region III to prepare an Advanced Identification of Study of Wetlands in the Moshannon Valley.

Community Facilities: Worked with local officials and the county CDBG coordinator to leverage state CDBG funding to rebuild small community water systems in the Snow Shoe area, Mt. Eagle, Port Matilda, Orviston. Helped residents of Twigg Settlement obtain water service and residents of Sandy Ridge determine if they would merge their water system with the Pennsylvania American Water Company system (they did).

Principal researcher/co-author of numerous studies including:

  • Centre County Industrial Sites Catalog.
  • Centre County Labor Force Profile.
  • Centre County Profile of Households.
  • Coordinated development of Visitors Guides for Bellefonte (2) & the Moshannon Valley (3).
  • Mid-Bald Eagle Valley Small Water System Regionalization Study.
  • Mountaintop Small Water System Regionalization Study.
  • Centre County Small Water System Regionalization Study.
  • GIS in Centre County Government.
  • Policy Perspectives on Revising Centre County's Comprehensive Plan.
  • 1990 Adopted Centre County Waste Management Plan.
  • Rush Township Comprehensive Plan (1986 draft).
  • Potter Township Comprehensive Plan (1983).
  • 1980 Existing Land Use.
  • Centre County Historic Preservation Handbook.
  • Coordinated the preparation of the Worth Township Comprehensive Plan.
  • Analyzed citizen questionnaires for Potter, Rush, and Burnside Townships.
  • Initiated analysis of building permit data and real estate sales to provide current data on the type and number of housing units built, and the average cost of new and existing housing.

Snyder County Planning - December 1975 to October 1979 (pt/ft). Final position - Assistant Planner. Principal researcher/co-author for Background Studies for the Monroe Township Comprehensive Plan, Historic Preservation Plan, Housing Plan, Home Heating in Snyder County: a Consumer's Digest, and Highway Interchange Study for US 11/15 and PA 522. Participated in the development of an Airport Master Plan for the Penns Valley Airport. Created quarterly newsletter. Initiated analysis of impact of subdivisions on population.


Married to Kathleen Eich since 1986.


  • Member, State College Borough Transportation Commission, 2005 - 2007.
  • Participant, Center for Progressive Leadership PA Political Leaders Fellowship, 2005 - 2006.
  • Certified Planning Instructor, 1992 - 2003. Taught workshops on planning and subdivision administration to citizen and professional planners.
  • Candidate, PA House of Representatives, 2004.
  • Member, Centre County Planning Commission, 2004.
  • Contributor & Task Force member, 2005 Public Issues Forum (on transportation).
  • Chairperson, Pennsylvania Planning Association Central PA Section Council, 1994 - 1998.
  • Member of Pennsylvania Planning Association's statewide Board of Directors, 1994 - 1998; Program Chair at PPA's Annual Statewide Conferences in 1988 and 1994; member of Finance Committee for the 2000 Conference; Member, PPA Education Committee, 1990 - 1992. Author of the series MPC Basics, which was published in Pennsylvania Planning Association's bimonthly newsletter. Principal Author of PPA Conference Preparation Manual, 1994.
  • Participant, Leadership Centre County, 1993 -1994. Chair of Government Day 1996 - 1997.
  • Member, American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), 1984 - 2009.
  • Member, American Planning Association & Pennsylvania Planning Association, 1980 - date.
  • Member, Bellefonte Jaycees, 1980 - 1984.
  • Member: ClearWater Conservancy, Penns Valley Conservation Association, Centre County Farmland Trust, Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, Centre County Affordable Housing Coalition, Snow Shoe Rails to Trails.

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