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Wilmerding appoints new councilor

| Friday, May 3, 2013, 2:26 a.m.

Wilmerding council has a new member.

William Pricener was appointed at a special meeting last month to fill the seat vacated by Jack Mason, who resigned from his post in March.

Borough secretary Joe Hartzel said the vacancy board interviewed two candidates, Coleen Loebsack and Pricener, and recommended the latter to council. Council made the appointment at a special meeting.

Pricener was sworn in by council president and acting Mayor Stephen Shurgot.

Mason was in his second year of a four-year term when he resigned.

Pricener will fill the seat for the rest of the year. The remaining two years of the seat will go to whomever wins the November election.

Hartzell said Allegheny County Division of Elections officials told him Pricener and potential candidates for that seat will not be on the primary ballot because Mason resigned after the time the borough had to announce any vacant seats.

Pricener is the executive director of the Allegheny YMCA, and has no political experience. He decided to show interest in council after talking with other residents.

“I've lived in the borough for a long time, and politics is not something that I ever wanted to be in,” Pricener said. “I was asked to at least give it some consideration, put in the eight or nine months ... If I can help out, and if it works out, I may run (for the remaining two years), but I have really no plans on doing that right now.”

Pricener was born in McKeesport, raised in Wilmerding, and wants to work on making the town more presentable.

“Expecting (Allegheny) County to come and pick up the litter in Wilmerding is just not going to happen,” he said. “We're low on their priority list.”

The new councilman said he wants council to deal with absentee landlords.

“Those people don't give a rip about the community,” Pricener said. “All we are is a revenue stream for them. We need, as a community, to really promote owner-occupied houses. People in Wilmerding never had a lot of money, but they always cared about their properties. They always kept them up, and it's not that way anymore. I'm putting money into my property ... It's everywhere, but someone has to make a stand.”

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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