Voters to decide which four will serve on Pitcairn Council
Five candidates are vying for four seats on Pitcairn Council in the Nov. 5 general election.
Council President John Prucnal and challengers Lorraine Myers, Dona Galia and James Rullo campaigned together as Democrats for the May primary.
Rullo was a write-in candidate who failed to win a Democratic party nomination, but he did earn enough votes to win a Republication nomination.
Incumbent Orelio “Rollo” Vecchio will appear on the Democratic ballot after serving on Pitcairn Council for more than 30 years. Vecchio and Prucnal are the only two candidates with political experience.
Among the challenges that Pitcairn officials could face over the next few years are updating infrastructure and a flood-mitigation project that has been decades in the making.
The winners will assume their new positions — all four-year terms — in January.
Political experience: None
Job: Head Start teacher
Education: Graduate of Gateway High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a degree in elementary education
Community involvement: Cofounder of KEEP, or Keep Elementary Education in Pitcairn; camp director for Pitcairn Camp G; Persons with Disabilities committee member for North American Martyrs Parish; CIRCLES Guiding Coalition board member
Family: Husband, Marty; and two children, Olivia and Bennett
Galia said that, if elected, she would seek funding to refurbish some vacant structures and remove those that are unsafe. She said improving the safety in Pitcairn will take a focus on both vacant structures and law enforcement.
“I would like to continue the work that is being done to ensure the safety of our residents, including controlling the drug activity and funding the needed repairs to the infrastructure.”
Political experience: None
Job: Retired Gateway School District custodian
Education: General Educational Development, or GED, diploma
Community involvement: Member of Pitcairn crime watch and volunteer for the Pitcairn Renaissance Burger Blasts
Family: Husband, Ron; two sons and two stepdaughters
Myers said that, if elected, she would work to continue to enlist the help of the appropriate outside law enforcement agencies to work with borough police Chief Scott Farally to reduce criminal activity in Pitcairn. She said she also would address unkempt rental properties.
“I would like to clean up our community by working to get landlords to fix up and care for their properties by enforcing our ordinances,” Myers said.
John Prucnal Jr.
Political experience: President of Pitcairn Council, council member since late 1998, member of Pitcairn Democratic Committee
Job: Territory sales manager for Bimbo Baking USA
Education: Plum High School graduate
Community involvement: Organist and cantor at St. Michael Catholic Church in Pitcairn, member of Envisioning Ministries Committee at St. Michael Catholic Church, original Pitcairn representative to 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Group and Turtle Creek Council of Government representative for Pitcairn Borough
Family: Wife, Robin; and two children, Zachary and Katy
Prucnal said the main issue in Pitcairn is its “old and neglected infrastructure.” He said there are five bridges that need to be replaced, two main roads that are deteriorating and a flood-control project that has been on hold for years.
“Add to that the increasing number of abandoned homes that need demolished and absentee landlords which contribute to the crime problems, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.”
He said that if council puts the community first, and not politics, those issues can be solved.
Political experience: None
Job: Retired adult probation/parole supervisor for Allegheny County Court
Education: Gateway High School graduate and Point Park University graduate
Community involvement: Member of the Pitcairn Historical Society, Pitcairn Renaissance, Pitcairn Camp B and the Pennsylvania DUI Association
Family: Wife, Yvette; daughter, Kelly; and two granddaughters
By relying in part on his experience as an adult probation/parole supervisor for nearly 40 years at the Allegheny County Court, Rullo said, he is “ready to work with council to deal in any way possible to help Pitcairn return to the town I knew, full of community pride and people working together to make Pitcairn a better safer place for the future.”
Rullo has been member of the Pitcairn Zoning Board for more than 40 years and said he is “aware of the problems with absentee landlords and flood problems in the community.”
He said he hopes to improve infrastructure and attract businesses such as cafes and mom-and-pop shops.
Orelio ‘Rollo' Vecchio
Political experience: Pitcairn councilman for 32 years, Democratic Committee member for 46 years, short-term participant with state AFL-CIO political group
Job: Retired Pennsylvania Department of Revenue enforcement agent
Education: Pitcairn High School graduate and Air Force air evacuation schooling
Community involvement: Treasurer for Rankin Christian Center Board, involved in senior housing, coordinator for community day retired president and participating member of Camp B, member of Pitcairn Civic Association, former president of Allegheny County Boroughs Association.
Family: Wife, Mary Ann; two sons, Frank and Carmen; and two granddaughters
While serving as a member of Pitcairn Council, Vecchio has participated with several community organizations and projects, including the Dirty Camp Run flood-control project and future bridge repairs.
Vecchio said that by council working together with landlords, officials can solve the housing issues in Pitcairn.
“By working together with landlords enforcement, we should be able to settle these (issues),” Vecchio said.
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or firstname.lastname@example.org.