Candidates vie for 4 open seats on Whitehall council
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
While candidates for four seats up for election Nov. 5 on Whitehall Borough Council say they want to do their part to keep Whitehall a successful, family-friendly community, they have different ideas on how to accomplish that.
Incumbents Linda Book, Kathy DePuy, Glenn Nagy and William Veith will square off against challengers Chris Mooney, Bill Gazica, Ryan Barton and Paul Parker for four-year terms on council.
Here's a look at each of the candidates:
Parker, a Democrat, declined to comment for this story.
Linda J. Book
Family: Father, former state Rep. Raymond T. Book; mother, Mary Ann Book of Whitehall; many siblings, nieces and nephews
Education: Graduate of Baldwin High School; United States Army/Europe — Communications Specialist graduate; Point Park College graduate with a major in journalism/communications studies and a minor in political science; Robert Morris University — paralegal studies certificate; Local Government Academy graduate
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Legal assistant at Keevican Weiss Bauerle & Hirsch LLC
Background: Army Commendation Medal awardee, White House advance team member for President Gerald Ford in 1976; positions with Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns and her father's campaigns for the state Legislature; Whitehall Borough Council member since 2002; Whitehall Republican Committee board member, serving as vice chairwoman from 2008 to 2012; notary public; Women Overseas Service League member; American Legion Post 712 member; Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council tutor; Friends of the Whitehall Public Library board member, serving as vice president from 2011 to 2013; LEARN bus founder; Whitehall Memorial Day ceremony founder; Whitehall Veterans Day ceremony founder
Book said she is seeking re-election to Whitehall Council “to continue addressing the needs of Whitehall residents as issues arise.”
Family: Wife, Dr. Julia Barton
Education: Baldwin High School graduate with a bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Government affairs director for the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh
Background: Legislative director for state House of Representatives; worked on economic-development issues for more than 10 years at the local, state and federal levels; helped shape congressional energy and tax legislation; worked for former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania; worked for Whitehall Public Works
Barton said he is seeking a seat on Whitehall council because “I believe in our community.
“This is where I grew up, where my parents live and where I plan on raising my children. I want to make sure that our children and grandchildren have the same experiences I had growing up right here in Whitehall,” Barton added.
If elected, Barton said, he would work to “create a better future for Whitehall and preserve the quality of life we have come to cherish in our community. It is my goal to work to keep taxes low, attract young families to our community and bring more small businesses back to Whitehall.”
Family: Daughter, Jane Borman and her husband, John; grandsons Scott and Zach
Education: Bachelor's degree from what now is Carnegie Mellon University and master's degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Political party: Democrat.
Occupation: Retired business teacher.
Background: Current member of Whitehall Council; president of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs; past president of Allegheny County Boroughs Association and board member Allegheny League of Municipalities.
DePuy said she is seeking re-election because “Whitehall is a nice place to live. I want to keep it that way.”
If re-elected, DePuy said, she would like to use the knowledge that she has gained from her various positions to begin reviewing new policies for Whitehall.
“My involvement with other boroughs has introduced me to good ordinances (and laws), such as solar panels, digital signs and rental-inspection programs that Whitehall Borough Council needs to think about adopting,” she said.
Family: Wife, Marie; three children
Education: Graduated from Central Catholic High School; attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied business, for one year
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Retired insurance investigator
Background: Coached Little League and American Legion; part of group that started Baldwin-Whitehall boosters and received “Booster of the Year” award in 1981; member of Whitehall Community Lions Club, past district governor for the Lions Club; member of Whitehall Recreation Board; 2006 Whitehall Borough Community Service Award winner; member of St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish seniors group; member of Central Catholic Golden Vikings.
Gazica said he was he was encouraged to seek a council seat by friends “who think that I would be an asset to the community by serving on council. I decided I would give it a shot,” he said.
If elected, Gazica said, he would work to “move the community forward” and keep Whitehall as the reputable community he said he believes it already is.
Chris A. Mooney
Family: Wife, Marilyn Pfaff
Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from Robert Morris
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Quality-assurance coordinator for AAA East Central
Background: Eight years as Friends of the Whitehall Public Library board member, four years as treasurer.
Mooney said he is seeking a position on Whitehall council “because I believe I can make a difference.”
If elected to council, Mooney said, he would plan to “help make this borough a more attractive place for families.”
Family: Wife, Pam; sons, Jay and Grant
Education: Baldwin High School graduate, bachelor's degree from Washington & Jefferson College, master's degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Independent insurance adjuster
Background: Whitehall Borough Councilman since 1996; vice-chairman of Economic Development South; treasurer of Baldwin High School golf team.
Nagy said he is seeking re-election “to continue the work of keeping Whitehall one of the most livable communities in our country while providing necessary services to our borough at an affordable cost.”
If re-elected, Nagy said, he would continue “the work that this council does every week at an affordable cost to its residents. We are blessed with a great staff of only five full-time employees to run the borough on a day-to-day basis, probably one of the leanest municipal staffs in the county for a borough of some 15,000 residents.”
Family: Wife, Jeanne; children, Brian and Kristie; grandchildren, Liam and Kaitlin
Education: Master's degree in education from Duquesne University and undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock University
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Retired teacher/coach/athletic coordinator for 35 years in Baldwin-Whitehall School District; current-part-time employee of TriStar Investors.
Background: Member of Whitehall Council and past president, currently chairman of public-safety committee in Whitehall Borough; member of the Brentwood Baldwin Whitehall Chamber of Commerce; volunteer at St. Gabriel of Sorrowful Virgin Parish in Whitehall; served six years in the Marine Corps Reserve.
Veith said he is seeking re-election “to continue overseeing and supporting the many positive programs and initiatives going on in the Whitehall community,” including updating the public sewer system to be in compliance with new regulations.
If re-elected, Veith said, he would like to keep offering a wide array of services for residents.
“I feel that the Whitehall residents are generally satisfied with our services, i.e. library, pool, garbage pickup, etc.,” Veith said.
“We need to continue to provide these services even as state and federal funding wanes. It is important for Whitehall Council to be creative in ways to continue and improve these services without raising taxes in the community.”
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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