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Jacobelli selected Jeannette mayor in landslide

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By Richard Gazarik
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Richard Jacobelli is the new mayor of Jeannette by a landslide, according to unofficial election results.

Jacobelli, 66, carried all eight precincts, besting incumbent Robert Carter, who lost the Democratic primary nomination to Jacobelli and later mounted a write-in campaign.

Jacobelli received nearly 74 percent of the vote.

“I consider this a mandate,” Jacobelli said. “The residents of the city want change, and we're going to give it to them. I can't wait till January.”

Jacobelli graduated from Jeannette High School and spent most of his adult life working as an airline mechanic in California. He moved back to Jeannette after retirement.

The new mayor inherits a city rife with financial problems caused in part by the cost of providing services, including a police force of a dozen officers to protect a population of 9,200.

Since he took office four years ago after serving as a councilman, Carter, 54, has tried to pull the city out of its financial quagmire. But neither he nor city council was willing to make changes until it was on the brink of being classified a distressed city subject to state oversight.

Carter did not support state recommendations to reduce the size of the police force, abolish the paid fire department, hire a private contractor to collect garbage and improve bookkeeping operations.

Jeannette could end the year with another budget deficit. Officials said they have not fully paid their mandatory contribution to the police pension fund for 2012 and will not be able to pay this year's.

The city must repay a $350,000 tax anticipation loan by the end of the year so it can borrow another $350,000 next year.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or rgazarik@tribweb.com.

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