GOP Saxonburg mayoral foes possess political experience
A Saxonburg councilwoman and former borough mayor are vying for the Republican nomination for Saxonburg mayor in the May primary election.
The winner will face incumbent Mayor Jody Pflueger, 48, a registered nurse, who is running unopposed as a Democrat.
The candidates said they would like to see the borough progress as a tourist destination and as a place for families to live and work. They also say they are ready to tackle police department challenges.
Pamela Bauman, 65, a councilwoman since 2011, said she sees serving as mayor as an opportunity “to bridge the gap between the public, council, mayor and police.”
“I think with talking, spending time with people, listening, whether it takes going door-to-door, I think we could help eliminate a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings,” she said.
Bauman, a Saxonburg resident for 30 years, owns Mimi's Memories, an antiques shop on Main Street in Saxonburg. She has 34 years of business experience, including many as vice president and general manager of Bauman Buses, which she ran with her husband until they sold the company in 1999.
She said she wants to improve whatever she can for businesses and residents.
“I want Saxonburg to move forward — new streets, new sidewalks, new town,” Bauman said, referring to the Main Street revitalization project. “I love the town, and I think we need to move forward with some quality-of-life issues and create a nurturingenvironment for young people.”
Brian Antoszyk, 51, who served as Saxonburg's mayor for 12 years, said he wants to return to the position “to do the right thing for the people of the borough.”
“Twenty years ago, I helped start the Main Street revitalization, and it's finally coming to realization,” he said. “I'd like to be there to have more of a voice to make sure things progress in the right way.”
He also believes police officer scheduling and the department's budget need to be better managed.
“I believe things are somewhat out of control,” he said.
During Antoszyk's tenure as mayor, he led a contentious effort to fire the police department's officer in charge, alleging that the officer violated policy.
Amid the controversy, Pflueger defeated him in the mayoral race.
“There were a lot of people who were upset about the police officer being let go,” he said. “I had put in 12 years and I thought, ‘well, if somebody thinks they can do it better. …' ”
Bauman said she isn't knowledgeable enough about the mayor's office and police department to critique operations.
“I feel I need to be elected, (and) look into it myself with an unbiased eye,” she said.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.