Mayoral outreach? For Delmont's Sanchez, it's in the bag
Gill Sanchez packs a plastic bag of groceries, careful to make sure the juice isn't crushing the eggs. He loads half a dozen bags into the grocery cart, but none are going home with the Delmont mayor.
After months of hoping residents would visit his borough office with their concerns and questions, Sanchez bagged the idea of officer hours and decided to bag groceries. Every Thursday, Delmont's mayor bags groceries at the Athena Drive Shop ‘n Save as a way to reach out to residents.
“Here, everyone comes shopping. People aren't intimidated to talk to you,” Sanchez said. “There's more people through here than sitting in my office with no one talking to me.”
Sanchez began the outreach last month and said it's been a success. He's heard from residents who want to know when a pothole would be patched and others who are happy with the way the borough is running. He even heard from one Murrysville woman who said she'd like to help get the borough's community days running again.
“I've heard about what a good job the road crew is doing and how well Apple ‘n Arts went,” Sanchez said. “People are realizing that we're doing more with less.”
It helps that Councilwoman Alyce Urban works at the store as a cashier, he said. Urban said while many of the store's customers aren't from Delmont — the grocery attracts shoppers from Export, Slickville, Salem and other nearby towns — Sanchez has been well received by all customers.
Obreda Fyock practically lives in Delmont — her home is one street out of the borough, living in Salem — and said she loves that Sanchez takes the time to reach out to his residents by volunteering at the grocery store.
“It's a great idea,” Fyock said. “He's very friendly.”
Linda Kyle of Delmont had no idea her mayor would be bagging her groceries when she went to the store last week. Kyle said she didn't think Sanchez would want residents holding up the line to complain about sewer lines or potholes but was delighted to hear that type of intereaction was his reason for bagging.
Sanchez said he knows he won't solve all the borough's problems by bagging groceries, but he hopes that getting out into the community and letting residents know that he's willing to listen will help solve some smaller issues.
“Even if I'm just making small talk with some residents, that's fine,” Sanchez said. “Most people are creatures of habit, and they come by here for lunch. With any luck, we can help them out if they need it.”
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Federal judge denies Spanier bid to halt criminal case
- Monroeville oxycodone dealer to spend 10 years in prison
- ’80s, ’90s kids show ‘Cappelli and Company’ finds new life on TV, online
- Steelers won’t negotiate Roethlisberger extension until after season
- Penn State to announce new athletic director
- Performers create Princess magic for balls and birthdays
- Ohio exhibit on real Johnny Appleseed will hit the road
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- South Fayette High School backs out of federal lunch program
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Fewer riders on Port Authority’s Access van program in 2013