Race heats up for Sharpsburg Council

| Friday, May 17, 2013, 11:15 a.m.

Four incumbent Sharpsburg Council members hope to continue working together.

Democrats Lou Costanzo, Karen Pastor, Renee Procopio and Tony Sacco are seeking nominations in the May 21 primary for four open seats. Beth Strain, also a Democrat, also is seeking a nomination for her first term. No Republicans have filed to run.

The top four vote-getters will advance to the general election on Nov. 5.

Procopio, 54, who serves as council president and is seeking her third term, said she wants to continue revitalization efforts in the borough.

“We are committed to taking advantage of the good aspects of town,” said Procopio, a paralegal. “I just want to continue to thrive here and I think we can do it.”

Sacco, 69, is chairman of the water and sewage committee and is retired and seeking his second full term. He said he wants another term on council to continue making improvements to the plant. He said in the last few years have seen numerous improvements at the water plant.

The next step is infrastructure improvements to the plant, Sacco said.

Pastor, 59, said she wants to continue working with the fire department. She has been part of a collaborative effort with communities in the Fox Chapel area to have the fire departments and emergency services work together. She hopes to continue those efforts.

Pastor said the current group of council members hope they continue to work together.

“We all do try to work as a team. We all get along very well,” Pastor said.

Costanzo, 58, an assistant meat manager at Giant Eagle and the borough fire chief, said the upcoming police contract negotiations will be a big issue for the town. Costanzo serves as head of the police committee and is seeking his second full term on council.

Costanzo also cited increased police protection and more security cameras as a positive development for the community. He said his work as fire chief has helped him be familiar with the community and residents.

“You know where there are issues and address it for the better,” he said.

Beth Strain could not be reached for comment. She is a political newcomer and has been promoted by former Krazy Karen's bar owner Karen Iezzi, who is running for mayor.

Procopio said the four incumbent council members and incumbent Mayor Richard Panza still believe they have work to do to improve the borough.

“None of us think that we're finished,” Procopio said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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