2nd family member challenges council member
By Mike Wereschagin
Published: Friday, May 3, 2013, 10:39 p.m.
The House of Jabbour looms large in Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey's political career.
Macey, 64, of West Mifflin was appointed to C.L. “Jay” Jabbour's seat in 2006 when Jabbour quit to run a state House race, which he lost. Jabbour tried to regain his seat in a 2007 election to fill the remaining two years of his term, but lost to Macey in the primary. Now, Jabbour's wife, Arlene, is challenging Macey for his council seat in the May 21 Democratic primary.
Arlene Jabbour, 62, served six years on the West Mifflin Borough Council and said she wants to “upgrade” to the part-time, $9,000-a-year County Council spot. Macey, she said, hasn't done enough to spur economic development in the Monongahela Valley. She criticized him for not providing jobs for constituents.
“If you ask him for a job, he tells you to put in an application,” she said. “I just want to be one of those people that if I say I'm going to help, I will.”
Asked whether she thought it appropriate to hand out jobs to political supporters, Jabbour said, “I'm not saying I can get you this job or I can get you that job.”
Macey, who said he used to get his hair cut by Jabbour, a Pittsburgh Beauty Academy graduate, touted the experience he's gained through six county budget cycles.
“I have the wherewithal, as well as the network, the experience and the desire to help others,” Macey said.
Macey is following court orders toward an Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition program and “doing things on my own to be a better person” after waiving a preliminary hearing April 17 on two counts of driving under the influence. Police charged Macey with two DUI counts, both first offenses, in connection with a crash in Venango County on Dec. 22.
The Marcellus shale boom and long-delayed completion of the Mon-Fayette expressway are the Monongahela Valley's best bets for economic recovery, Macey said.
The winner likely will face Kenneth Peoples, 41, of White Oak in the general election. He is running unopposed in the Republican primary.
County Council's District 9 includes Duquesne, Forward, McKeesport and North Versailles, among others.
Mike Wereschagin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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