I spent all my life in Pennsylvania, growing up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, earning my B.S. in Education at Penn State where I met my wife, and settling in the mid-state in 1990.
I spent 14 years as a stay-at-home dad to my 3 daughters, preparing taxes professionally in the evenings and on weekends. I also started volunteering at the Red Land Community Library at this time, 25 years ago.
For almost every year that my kids were attending Fishing Creek Elementary School, I served as either the treasurer or the president of the PTO. When my kids moved on to marching band at Red Land High School, I served as treasurer of the Music Boosters.
Over the past 12 years I have been an entrepreneur and business owner. I never stopped volunteering at my local library and (before COVID-19) could usually be found there on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings. I currently serve as the president of the Friends of the Red Land Community Library and also as the president of the Newberry Business Association.
I have been a Republican and a Democrat....and a Republican again....and a Democrat since 2014. I also have voted Libertarian many times over my lifetime. The truth is that I don't agree or disagree with any party on 100% of the issues. I believe that we should have as much freedom as possible and that the government should interfere in our lives as little as possible. However, I think that a tremendous effort should be made to allow every citizen to have a good life. To that end, I am a firm believer in a strong social safety net. In my business, I've seen my customers fall on hard times, and I've worked with them until they got back on their feet. Most of us stumble at times and need some help to get over the humps life puts in our way and I think the government should be there if needed, but essentially leave us alone if we are doing OK and not harming anyone else.
I don't hold the same "hands off" attitude when it comes to businesses. Workplace rules need to be enforced, environmental safeguards need to be in place, and the minimum wage must be raised. Since 2009, the last time the minimum wage was increased, base pay for state legislators has gone up by $10,000. The same lawmakers who consistently vote against raising the minimum wage enjoy yearly cost of living increases at taxpayer expense. And as a business owner myself, when my customers do well, I do well. Raising the minimum is good for business.
If you ever want to have a civil, rational discussion on any issue, please seek me out.
Even more about Doug
I like hiking (I'd much rather go to a national park than an amusement park), reading (I average about 4 books a month), old movies (The Magnificent Seven, The Thin Man, and Harold and Maude, are among my faves), and volunteering at my library (it's my home away from home).
Be warned, if you continue reading we get into the offbeat, quirky, and strange...basically too much information about me (it was late when I wrote this).
So when I said I am frugal, I mean FRUGAL. I've cut my own hair for at least 30 years -- if you invest just $10 per month for 30 years at just 7% you'd end up with $12,270.87. Most of my clothes are from the clearance rack: by February most winter clothes are on clearance and by July the summer stuff is marked down. I also shop at Goodwill and Community Aid. For a family of 4, I spend less than $50 per week on groceries (including toiletries, laundry, and cleaning supplies). I can afford to pay full price, but I get a tremendous amount of joy out of spending less -- frugal people will understand this, others will just shake their head in bewilderment.
I've been watching business news since I was a teen: Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser, The Nightly Business Report with Paul Kangas, and the Financial News Network (which eventually became CNBC). I bought my first shares of stock in 1982 at age 14 (I was in the stock market before my parents were). I was a weird (but prudent) little kid.
I love cereal. I mostly eat healthy stuff like generic raisin bran, but my favorite dessert cereal (yeah, I think I may have coined that term) is generic Lucky Charms (remember, I said FRUGAL).
I'm an apple connoisseur. Pink Lady is my current favorite, but early Cameo (they don't keep long) is very good. The new Cosmic Crisp is very good if you like a sweet apple (I prefer them a little on the tart side).
I like splitting wood (as long as the temperature is below 70). I cut up dead trees in my woods and then use a wedge and a sledge to split it. It's good exercise and as long as it's a crisp, cool day, it's an enjoyable activity. My folks didn't have a fireplace when I was growing up, but I got the fireplace-bug living in a house off campus when I attended Penn State (229 S. Garner St., but it's been torn down now).
I was doing taxes for H & R Block when the TV show ER was popular. It was a great icebreaker having the same name as a popular television character (one played by the "sexiest man alive". So often I'd tell the client my name and they'd get a big smile on their face and say "like in ER!". It was fun. Trivia question: what actor played the other Dr. Doug Ross a couple decades before ER?