Race heats up in Ward 2 for seat on Shaler Board of Commissioners

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Shaler Township residents will have a choice of candidates in Ward 2 in the general election on Nov. 5.

Democrat Jim Tunstall is challenging incumbent Lori Voegtly Mizgorski, a Republican, for the Ward 2 seat on the Shaler Township Board of Commissioners.

Tunstall, 37, is a Shaler Township native who said he would bring his political experience and understanding of municipal government to the position, if elected.

Tunstall served as a councilman on Millvale Borough Council from 2005 to 2007 before moving back to Shaler Township in 2007.

During his tenure as Millvale councilman, Tunstall was on the budget and finance committee and worked to write grant applications to purchase stunning devices for the police department and new street lighting in the borough.

“I've always had an interest in local government, and I always thought you could be very effective on a local level,” Tunstall said.

“I'm always interested in doing more for the township, and I think our district could use more representation.”

Tunstall said he would like to find ways to “do more with less” and provide equipment and services to the township at no cost to taxpayers through pursuing grants.

He said that his main objective is to maintain effective public safety for the township and residents by working together with the local emergency responders, the township and the school district.

Tunstall is the volunteer fire chief for Millvale Volunteer Fire Department and is a police dispatcher for Allegheny County's 9-1-1 Communications Center.

He and his wife, Gretchen, have three children ages 3, 5 and 8.

Voegtly Mizgorski, 46, is running for her second four-year term as commissioner for Ward 2.

“I feel called to public service, and I have felt these past four years have been rewarding,” Voegtly Mizgorski said.

“I feel I have contributed a lot to the town, and I feel I have more to contribute.”

Voegtly Mizgorski has focused many of her efforts on the Bauerstown community.

She lobbied to have the building that housed the former The Little Brown Jug torn down and the parks refurbished.

“A lot of effort does go into the community revitalization in Bauerstown,” she said.

Voegtly Mizgorski has been on the Shaler North Hills Library board of directors since 2006 and also is on the Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone, or ARTEZ, board of directors. She was appointed to the state Conservation & National Resources Advisory Council, which meets in Harriburg.

However, it is the personal relationships that she values in her position, she said.

“The one-to-one interaction I have with residents when I help an individual with a problem, I find that very rewarding,” Voegtly Mizgorski said. “I think that's what separates me from other potential commissioners is I give them that one-on-one attention that they need.

“Even if I can't give them what they want, they know I listened and looked into it.”

She and her husband, David, have three children ages 11, 14 and 16.

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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