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2 candidates vying for open seat on Shaler Area board

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted
James Giel

Shaler Area voters will see two names on the ballot for the Shaler Area School District School Board Region 3 representative, the only contested race for the board in the general election on Nov. 5.

Republican incumbent James Giel, current school board president, is challenged by Steve Romac, who won the Democratic nomination in the primary election.

Romac did not respond to the Shaler Journal's interview requests.

Giel, 61, brings 16 years of experience as a Shaler Area School Board member, with 11 years serving as board president.

“I want to continue to give back to the community in which I was raised and continue to do the good work we've been doing for the last 16 years,” Giel said.

He said he sees the district's finances as one of the biggest issues the school board faces in the near future. The school district's contribution to the Public School Employees' Retirement System continues to increase, and it faces several unfunded mandates at the state and federal level.

“My concern is finances … and how we're going to fund (programs and the pension system) and keep the levels of programs we have,” he said. “It's like a balloon; if you push one area, it blows out another area.”

Giel also is the president of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Board of Directors and a trustee and northern representative of the Allegheny County Schools Health Insurance Consortium.

Mostly, Giel said, he wants to continue to provide the community and Shaler Area students with a quality education program.

“We've got good programs and good teachers and good things going on in Shaler,” he said. “We do provide a quality universal education with the limited funds we have, and I want to continue to do that and give back to the community.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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