Murt faces new­comer Kolla in elec­tion for 152nd

The Ambler Gazette - - POLICEREPORTS - By Caitlin Burns

Res­i­dents in Bryn Athyn, Hat­boro, Hor­sham, Up­per Dublin, and Up­per and Lower More­land will vote be­tween two can­di­dates for the po­si­tion of state rep­re­sen­ta­tiveK For the kovK S elec­tion, in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Tom Murt will face new­comer Ron Kolla, Demo­crat, for the 152nd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict seatK

Murt, a res­i­dent of Up­per More­land, is a life­long res­i­dent of Mont­gomery County and has served as state rep­re­sen­ta­tive since 200TK Be­fore be­ing elected, Murt served as an Up­per More­land Com­mis­sioner for 10 years and as a di­rec­tor for the Up­per More­land School BoardK In 2003, Murt re­signed from his po­si­tion as com­mis­sioner be­fore be­ing de­ployed to Iraq with the Army Re­serveK

Murt grad­u­ated from Penn State with an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree, re­ceived a mas­ter’s de­gree at La Salle Univer­sity and re­ceived a teachLnJ FHUWL­fiFDWH from Gwyned­dMercy Col­legeK He is cur­rently en­rolled in Tem­ple Univer­sity’s doc­tor­ate pro­gramK

“I feel I have been very ef­fec­tive as a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive,” Murt saidK “We are very at­ten­tive to the peo­ple who live hereK”

Murt said his best achieve­ments so far as state rep­re­sen­ta­tive in­clude help­ing dis­abled vet­er­ans through leg­is­la­tion and the dis­abled Amer­i­can vet­er­ans van; help­ing chil­dren and adults with spe­cial needs by pro­vid­ing more fund­ing for pro­grams and ser­vices; and leg­is­la­tion up­dat­ing child la­bor laws in Penn­syl­va­nia, which now pro­tect chil­dren who pro­fes­sion­ally act and are part of re­al­ity showsK

If re-elected, Murt said he hopes to continue his ini­tia­tive to fund spe­cial needs pro­grams and ser­vices; im­ple­ment more vet­eran pro­grams; and look for more fund­ing for ed­u­ca­tionK He hopes to re-in­tro­duce a bill that would re­quire more taxes for drilling in Penn­syl­va­nia, which he said he would like to use to­ward ed­u­ca­tion and other pub­lic ser­vicesK

Sim­i­larly, Kolla, of Hor­sham, said if he were elected, his fo­cus would be ed­u­ca­tionK He said he would work to in­crease fund- ing to ed­u­ca­tion through in­creased taxes on drillingK His plan is to use the money from taxes to in­crease money des­ig­nated for ed­u­ca­tion so the school dis­tricts have the money to run pro­grams that would be cut from re­duced fund­ing by the gover­nor’s bud­getK

“We can fund ed­u­ca­tion and prop­erty tax re­lief through taxes on the oil and gas in­dus­try,” Kolla saidK “I can’t sit back for two more yearsK It’s hurt­ing our com­mu­ni­tyK”

Kolla said he hopes to al­le­vi­ate prop­erty taxes by in­creas­ing fund­ing to ed­u­ca­tion so schools can ef­fec­tively run pro­grams and ser­vices nec­es­sary with­out in­creas­ing its tax rev­enueK

“I think I can re­ally put a check on xGovK Tom Cor­bett],” Kolla saidK “I see what’s com­ing out of Harrisburg and it’s not rightK”

Kolla, who is a long­time res­i­dent in Mont­gomery County, grad­u­ated from Tem­ple Univer­sity and has worked as a mu­si­cianK Dur­ing his time at col­lege, Kolla worked as a jazz pi­anist for Carnival Cruise Lines to help pay for his ed­u­ca­tionK Locally, he has per­form as a church or­gan­ist for StK Cather­ine of Siena, StK goseph and StK Alphon­sus churches and has worked as a mu­si­cal theater in­struc­tor and di­rec­tor in Hat­boro-Hor­sham School Dis­trict and Up­per Dublin Parks and Re­cre­ationK

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