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Voters to choose tax collectors, city controllers

| Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Voters in eight Mon-Yough communities have choices on Tuesday for their municipalities' chief fiscal officer.

Residents will vote for their tax collector in the following boroughs and townships:

• In Elizabeth, Democratic incumbent Robin Schmidt is challenged by Republican Michael J. Glowinski.

Glowinski is the husband of council president Monica Glowinski. Schmidt formerly was borough secretary but was removed from that position in January 2012.

• In Elizabeth Township, Republican Mary E. Walos and Democrat Dana L. Evans are vying for the job Carol Ruscin is vacating, for the most part, at the end of the year.

Recently Elizabeth Forward school board voted to retain Ruscin as tax collector through the first month of 2014 so she can finish a collection delayed because of Allegheny County reassessment.

• In Irwin, Democratic incumbent Lois Bennett is challenged by Republican Len Cole.

Bennett had both party nods for election in 2005 and 2009. Cole is a former financial secretary for an Irwin church.

• In Munhall, Democratic incumbent Donna J. Mercuri is challenged by Republican Diane L. Garrity-Pawlowski.

Mercuri was appointed in April 2011 by borough council to finish her late husband Joseph's term and then was unopposed for election that fall.

Garrity-Pawlowski received 11 GOP write-in votes in May for that party's nod.

• In Pleasant Hills there's a rematch of the primary, as Linda Fancsali takes on Sandra Pikula for the right to succeed Gretchen Fuller as tax collector.

Fancsali defeated Pikula in the Republican primary but Pikula won the Democratic nod via write-ins.

• In West Mifflin, longtime Democratic incumbent Richard A. Allen is challenged by the borough's Republican committee chairman Jay Goonetilleke.

• In White Oak, Republican Dawn M. Conn will face Democrat Lisa M. Pitchford, who easily defeated Sylvan Lang in a May write-in battle.

The winner succeeds longtime tax collector Robert W. Hart, who is retiring.

Third class cities can choose controllers who monitor the way taxes are spent by municipal councils. McKeesport has a contest between independent incumbent Raymond Malinchak and Democrat Harry C. Walsh, who chairs the city's redevelopment authority.

For controller in Duquesne, Democrat Elizabeth A. Kracinovsky is unopposed for re-election.

Candidates for tax collector are running without opposition in Dravosburg, East McKeesport, Glassport, Homestead, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln, North Huntingdon, North Irwin, North Versailles, Port Vue, South Versailles, Versailles, Wall, West Elizabeth, West Homestead, Whitaker and Wilmerding.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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