The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 29, 2014

Kantz halts quest for chamber boss

By Bill Foley
The Daily Item

— SHAMOKIN DAM — Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz said Saturday he will not pursue the position of leader of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, an announcement that surprised interim President Jim Barbarich.

Kantz two weeks ago confirmed he was recruited to apply for the position left vacant with the resignation of Charlie Ross in June, and that if he were the successful candidate, he wanted to hold both jobs until his elected term expires in 2015.

But during his interview for the chamber post last week, “I got the strong inclination they wanted someone dedicated full time,” Kantz said Saturday. “I got the feeling that was something that was important to them.”

It is, Barbarich said Saturday, adding that he did not know Kantz was withdrawing his candidacy.

“We set the requirement that someone give us a full-time effort,” he said. “That is only fair from any employer, that (the employee) be totally committed.”

Kantz is serving a second, four-year term on the county board and is paid $53,190 a year.

“I’m not ready to give up being a commissioner,” he said Saturday. “There was an overwhelming response from people who read (about his chamber candidacy) and said ‘We don’t want you to leave.’”

Doing so would have been a difficult decision, he said.

“For those who are truly in public service to serve, that is tough to pull away from,” he said. “I have a lot of extra things that I do that I don’t want to give up. I didn’t feel like it was a good fit for either one of us.”

The pool of six candidates interviewed has been winnowed to two, Barbarich said, declining to say whether Kantz was a finalist. Barbarich also said he is not a candidate.

Those final two candidates this week will receive a case study in which they must analyze and address a business problem or opportunity in the Valley, and make a presentation before the chamber board and the Snyder Industrial Development Corp., Barbarich said.

A new chamber president could be in place by mid-May, Barbarich said.

Staff reporter Marcia Moore contributed to this report.