Meet Monroe Co. Commissioner David Parker
David Parker was born and raised in East Stroudsburg. He worked for his family’s business, Cramer’s Home Building Centers, for 27 years, before running for Monroe County Commissioner.
This isn’t his first political jaunt. Parker, a Republican, represented the 115th House District as State Representative from 2015 to 2016.
“I was doing work on school funding and trying to fix that problem, because that really impacts Monroe County,” he said. “We have the highest school property taxes in the state as a percentage of their local income.”
Parker’s push for fair funding in schools comes from the hold-harmless policy, implemented in 1992, which stipulated that school districts cannot receive less funding than the prior year.
“Which sounds nice, except there were districts out in Pittsburgh and other parts, that lost population but still got money as if they had and when we were growing, there was no money to come to us,” he said. “So we raised our own taxes.”
Parker joins the Board of Commissioners after county residents saw their first tax increase in 12 years.
“There's obviously constant pressure on expenses with inflation and wages and things,” Parker said. “But there's another way to raise more revenue, and that's with development.”
The Tannersville Inn was demolished in 2023 to welcome a Wawa service station and convenience store.
“Before it was demolished, it was 30,000 [dollars] that we got in taxes for the school, the township and the county. And we estimate with the new Wawa, there should be between 60 and 100,000 [dollars] in taxes that will generate.”
A large focus for the county, Parker says, is to recruit and retain staff.
“We do have a lot of job openings in the county,” he said. “There was already some things done to try to adjust wages so that we can be more competitive with other counties... we would bring in an employee, train them, and then they might go to Northampton or Pike [counties] [for] a better pay rate.”
Parker says the previous board made some changes in 2023, but more needs to be done in 2024 to maintain a strong workforce.