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Jefferson Hills mayor no stranger to serving community

Submitted | Jane Milner
In his first act as Magisterial District Judge for Jefferson Hills, Pleasant Hills and South Park, Guy Reschenthaler swears in Janice Cmar as mayor of Jefferson Hills Borough. Cmar's daughter, Nikki, holds the Bible as her mother is sworn in on Jan. 6.

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By Dona S. Dreeland
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Magisterial District Judge Guy Reschenthaler's first official act was to swear in Jefferson Hills Mayor Janice Cmar on Jan. 6.

Reschenthaler, elected to the position in November, applauded Cmar and others who were sworn in to offices in the borough for “going out of their way to make a difference.”

Cmar, 58, had served four terms on council, and was appointed mayor in September after Michael Green resigned from the office the previous month. She ran for the position and was unopposed in the November general election.

“I never took it for granted that I was unopposed, and worked as if I had an opponent,” she said.

Years ago, she had watched many of her family members — father, uncles and aunt — do the same to serve their communities.

“My twin sister and I started campaigning for my father when we were in seventh grade,” she said. “Being involved in a family that held public offices on the school board, council and state committee, I learned the importance of being an integral part of the community I live in.”

Council President Christopher King foresees a smooth transition as she steps into the mayoral role.

“Jan has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience from all the years she has served on council,” King said.

Born and raised in West Mifflin, Cmar has lived in Jefferson Hills for 20 years, where she reared a son and daughter.

She is a family and consumer science teacher for seventh-graders at Peters Township Middle School. She also instructs eighth-graders in their GOAL classes, which guide students in setting a course for high school academics, exploring career options, being successful on achievement tests and matching learning styles with learning skills, according to the district.

“Every day, I focus on what needs the borough may have,” she said. “I attend meetings, workshops and interact with my constituents.”

King describes her as a “doer.”

“The community will benefit, but we'll miss her,” he said.

Almost to illustrate his point, she already has set her goals: “To better recognize our police, EMS, firefighters and military women and men,” Cmar said. “I would like to develop more citizen participation and continue to keep our citizens safe through our public safety and environmental initiatives.”

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

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