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Monroeville Council nominations up for grabs

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Monroeville Council candidate, 2013, Daniel Alexander
Monroeville Council candidate, 2013, Daniel Alexander
Diane Allison
Diane Allison
Lois Drumheller
Lois Drumheller
Monroeville Council candidate, 2013, Ron Harvey
Monroeville Council candidate, 2013, Ron Harvey
Georgiana Woodhall
Georgiana Woodhall
Linda Gaydos
Linda Gaydos

On Tuesday, Monroeville voters will decide which candidates will win their party nominations for the four Monroeville Council seats — which could represent a majority on the seven-person council — that are up for grabs this year.

Winners will advance to the Nov. 5 general election, and the winner of that election will take office in January.

Three of the four council races have only Democratic candidates. The 3rd Ward has races on both tickets.


With incumbent Bernh ard Erb choosing to run for mayor, 1st Ward voters will elect a new representative this year. Democrats Linda Gaydos and Georgiana Galagaza Woodhall seek the party nomination for the 1st Ward seat. No Republicans are on the ballot.

Linda Gaydos

Age: 52

Political experience: None

Job: Retired business owner

Education: Gateway High School graduate

Community involvement: Gateway Boosters, food banks, hospice care, Center for Organ Recovery & Education, Monroeville Fire Company No. 3, American Legion, charity golf outing

Family: Married, with two children

Family involvement in past years, along with a passion for change, are what Gaydos said drove her to run for Monroeville council. She said she wants to “bring a sense of team back to our local government and eliminate internal games and personal agendas” while helping to fix issues and maintain useful services.

Georgiana Galagaza Woodhall

Age: 58

Political experience: 1st Ward representative on the Monroeville Planning Commission

Job: 22 years of experience in the insurance industry

Education: Degrees from the Community College of Allegheny County's Boyce Campus and the University of Pittsburgh

Community involvement: Volunteer for 20 years in planning charity walks, golf tournaments, black-tie affairs and church activities

Family: Married

As a third-generation Monroeville resident, Woodhall said she and her family have enjoyed the services Monroeville offers.

“We have watched our community grow and now see the many challenges Monroeville is facing,” said Woodhall, noting that she has been an advocate for the people by appearing before local government on an array of issues, including the redevelopment authority and gas drilling.


Both parties have a race in the 3rd Ward. On the Democratic ticket, incumbent Lois Drumheller faces a challenge from former Councilman Ron Harvey, who is a fire chief. Daniel Alexander and Len Young are competing for the Republican nomination.

Lois Drumheller

Age: 59

Political experience: Monroeville Council member

Job: Respiratory therapist

Education: Bachelor's degree in education from the University of Central Florida

Community involvement: Maintaining state licensing and credentials as registered respiratory therapist and asthma educator

Family: Husband, Oliver “Skip” Drumheller

Drumheller said she helped start the community food garden in 2011 and hopes to expand that project, as well as address other issues facing residents.

“Monroeville faces challenges in providing essential services,” she said. “Our neighborhoods and parks, which dovetail to a thriving business district, are dependent on an open and honest government for a safe living environment.”

Ron Harvey

Age: 58

Political experience: Served previously on Monroeville Council for 17 months

Job: Retired

Education: Gateway High School graduate, certified paramedic, Pennsylvania State Police Academy graduate

Community involvement: Chief of Monroeville Fire Company No. 5.

Family: Wife, Nancy; and daughter, Kimberly

Harvey has lived in Monroeville for 58 years and said he is ready to see change on different issues, including the budget and maintaining worthwhile municipal services.

“I would like to help council to get back on track with serving the residents and making Monroeville a respectable and proud place to live again,” he said.

Daniel Alexander

Age: 46

Political experience: None

Job: Telecommunications technician

Education: Associate's degree in specialized technology from Aviation Electronics, several safety and professional certifications.

Community involvement: Member of the American Radio Relay League, member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Gateway Midget Football and Cheerleading Association, Monroeville Baseball Association, Monroeville Parks and Recreation ­­— basketball program, Gateway Cheerleading Booster Club

Family: Wife, Donna; four children, April, Jason, Nick and Matthew

Alexander quoted Mark Twain to make his point: “If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you always got.”

“It's time for a change,” Alexander said. “I feel council has lost its focus and it has hurt Monroeville.”

Alexander said he wants to approach issues of the budget deficit and continuing to provide opportunities for residents to have fun.

Len Young

Age: 55

Political experience: 2010 candidate for Pennsylvania state Senate, 45th district

Job: Self-employed landscaper and arborist

Education: 1975 graduate of Gateway High School

Community involvement: Member of Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce, American Legion Gold Star Post 820; motorcyclists' rights activist for 30 years

Family: Wife, Terry; and two children, Brett and Derek

Young said he's running for council “because I give a damn about Monroeville and want to see it operate properly.” He said he believes in government “of the people, for the people and by the people” and intends to hold monthly, public meetings with his constituents in the 3rd Ward. Young said he is most passionate about addressing the budget, public safety and running an efficient government in Monroeville.


Incumbent Democrat Diane Allison faces a challenge for the party nomination from political newcomer Paul Caliari Jr. There are no Republicans on the ballot.

Diane Allison

Age: 46

Political experience: Serves as Monroeville deputy mayor, chairwoman of Monroeville's Public Safety Committee

Job: Allison says she dedicates her time to her family and the residents she represents.

Education: Bachelor's degree from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.; graduate of the FBI Citizens' Academy for community leaders

Community involvement: Member of the Allegheny County Boroughs Association; Allegheny League of Municipalities and intergovernmental cooperation committee with Gateway School District, council liaison to the Convention Visitors Bureau of Greater Monroeville; and member of St. Bernadette Parish

Family: Husband, Charles; and two children, Chaz and Tyler

Allison said she will continue being a hands-on representative by “immediately addressing concerns and issues and taking action” and “finding satisfactory resolutions.”

She said her No. 1 issue is the crime and drug activity in the borough, and her next most important issue is creating a balanced budget that won't require tax hikes or eliminate high-quality services.

Paul Caliari Jr.

Age: 39

Political experience: None

Job: Director of environmental services, patient transportation and linen for UPMC Mercy hospital

Education: Bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Waynesburg University

Community involvement: Parishioner of North American Martyrs Catholic Church, helper with Brownie Troop 51051

Family: Wife, Nicole, and two children, Jordan and Katherine

Caliari said he is running because he wants to make a difference in his community.

“I have decided that I do not just want to sit around and complain,” he said.

The main issues he plans to address are the budget deficit and lack of council cooperation, and, he said, “with openness, honesty, and integrity, my goals can and will be realized.”


Incumbent Councilman Clarence Ramsey is not seeking re-election; however, his wife is. Carolyn Ramsey — who did not respond to requests for her campaign information — and former Gateway school board member Tom Wilson seek the Democratic nomination to represent the 7th Ward. No Republicans are on the ballot.

Tom Wilson

Age: 70

Political experience: Gateway school director

Job: Retired sales manager with VF Corp.

Education: Gateway High School graduate

Community involvement: President of the Gateway foundation, volunteer for Meals on Wheels, advisory council for Spectrum school, serves on the personnel board for the municipality, member of Keystone Premier Golf association

Family: Married with two daughters and four grandchildren

Wilson said he hopes to be a member “of a more productive municipal council that can work together” by running this year.

Among his areas of interest, he said, are business-district infrastructure, increased recycling efforts and continued funding for the library and senior center.

Kyle Lawson and Matt DeFusco are staff writers for Trib Total Media.

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