ShareThis Page

Twilight's William Sterner appointed to PUC council

| Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, 11:08 p.m.
Chris Buckley | The Valley Independent
William Sterner of Twilight is shown in August 2013

Even though he recently retired, William Sterner's nearly four decades in the utility industry is still beneficial for consumers.

But then, the Twilight man has made serving his neighbors his vocation.

Sterner retired Aug. 1 from the national utility workers union. He worked for years as a lineman for West Penn Power.

His expertise in the utility field prompted state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-California, to nominate Sterner to serve on the state Public Utility Commission's Consumer Advisory Council.

The council meets monthly at the PUC offices in Harrisburg to discuss consumer issues and all aspects of public utilities.

“It's going to go hand-in-hand with a lot of things I've done throughout my career, not only as a lineman restoring electricity, but for the union advocating for safety issues for workers,” Sterner said.

Sterner started his career in the utility field in 1973 when he was hired as an apprentice lineman for West Penn Power. Prior to that, he worked for a month at the Westinghouse Waltz Mill facility.

His utility career began after a short stint in college. After graduating from Belle Vernon Area High School in 1972, he enrolled at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. But before his first year ended, he decided college wasn't for him and left to find a job.

Sterner grew up on Fell Street in North Belle Vernon, and settled into the small community of Twilight Borough in 1975 after getting married. He was 20 years old when he married his junior high school sweetheart Pamela. The couple met at the Bellmar school.

Over the years at West Penn Power, Sterner's position changed.

In 1997, he was elected president of Local 102 of the Utility Workers Union of America, which required him take a leave of absence from his job as lead lineman. Local 102 has 17 branches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and, at the time, Virginia. He worked full-time with the union until he retired in 2009 from West Penn Power's successor, Allegheny Power.

After retiring in 2009, Sterner was hired by the national utility workers union and became a regional staff member. He retired last month as a regional representative.

In addition to now serving on the PUC Consumer Advisory Council, Sterner is a long-time Twilight councilman.

Sterner has served on Twilight Borough council for 25 years. He said friends who were serving on council got him involved, asking him to fill a vacancy. He had been working to get water service for the neighborhood at the time.

“I've always been interested in the community I live in,” Sterner said. “I believe public service is something we should all try to do in one way or another.”

Sterner said because Twilight is a small community, council members go above and beyond to help residents.

“We don't have a tax base and a budget that allows us to hire contractors,” Sterner said. “When a tree falls down across the road, there's a couple members of council that get called.

“Its hands on. It's not just attending a meeting once a month. In a community this small, that's what you have to do to have control of your community.”

Sterner said he has no plans of letting retirement slow him down.

“I have some property in Twilight which I built a barn on previously,” Sterner said. “I'm working on enlarging the barn. I like to build things as a hobby.

“I enjoy the outdoors. I have a few quads and I like to take rides with my wife in our little sports car.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.