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Jacobelli elected Jeannette mayor, hopes for smooth transition

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit
Jeannette's newest elected officials stand outside the polling location at the Jeannette Italian Club on Election Day. From left are Michael Nestico, the new city treasurer, Gabriel Homan, new city councilman, and Richard Jacobelli, who will take over as the city mayor in January. Incumbent Mark Clark, not pictured, also won reelection to city council.

This month's general election brings three new names to city government — Richard Jacobelli is Jeannette's new mayor beginning in January, Gabriel Homan is a new city councilman, and Michael Nestico is the city's new treasurer.

According to unofficial election results, Jacobelli, a Democrat, earned 1,088 votes and Mayor Robert Carter, also a Democrat, got 378 write-in votes. All results are unofficial until certified by the county elections bureau.

Nestico, a Republican, took home 1,038 votes to incumbent Democrat Sam Casino's 485 votes. Newcomer Homan, a Republican, was unopposed in the election and took 815 votes. Incumbent Democrat Mark Clark was also unopposed in his re-election bid and earned 977 votes.

Jacobelli feels this election is sending a message to city officials.

“This 74 percent vote (for me), it was a message sent to city council that the residents are tired and they want something done. It's like a warning shot fired at everyone, including myself,” Jacobelli said. “That vote, it was a wake-up call to the entire city council. It's time to get this city straightened out financially.”

He was impressed the by the turn-out for a mid-term election, with no national races underway.

“I was out the door by 6:30 a.m. (Election Day) and my excitement was to see the number of people showing up to vote. It was really encouraging to see so many people showing up to vote, it was just total excitement.”

Jacobelli, Homan and Nestico spent election night at MiMi's Restaurant awaiting the returns and the mayor-elect said when the results came in, he was “totally ecstatic, but I also understand what's coming along with the job. I'm very happy to win, but I know what the responsibilities are coming into it.”

He is hoping for a smooth transition as the countdown begins toward his taking office in January, but he is concerned that the sitting city council does not seem to want him to attend any meetings that are not open to the public.

Specifically, Jacobelli would like to attend a meeting with the city auditors to hear the results of the 2012 audit but he said he has not been invited and several councilmen have said they prefer him to wait until he's sworn in before attending such meetings.

“Any meetings they have to discuss financial issues, I would like to be part of and so far I haven't been invited. There are a lot of questions I have to ask, things running through my head, like ‘where are we really?' and ‘where is the status with Act 47 and how do you guys (council) want to approach it for the future?'”

Jacobelli said his biggest contention right now is his exclusion from such meetings and adds that part of the reason he'd like to attend those meetings is to get to know the council.

“I want to meet them one-on-one and have an open and frank discussion on the issues,” he said. “Once (I'm mayor), it becomes my ball and it's in my court and I don't want to sit there not fully understanding what is going on in city business,” Jacobelli said.

For more on this issue, see “New mayor unwelcome at some meetings” on Page 2.

School board to have a new member

Kelly Singer Marquis will join the school board when it reorganizes in December. Marquis ran unopposed for office as Randy Highlands chose not to run for re-election.

Incumbents William Brasco, Anita Mash and Morrison Lewis also ran unopposed and were re-elected.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-838-5154.

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