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Seven Fields mayoral candidates agree regional police department is vital

| Saturday, May 11, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
Seneca Valley basketball coach Victor Giannotta doesn't shy away from the challenge of facing Section 3-AAA powers New Castle, Hampton and North Allegheny
Joseph Scalomogna a Republican candidate for mayor of Seven Fields

The new mayor of Seven Fields will have a critical job as the borough, population 3,800, works to form a regional police department with Evans City.

The new police board will include mayors from each municipality and two members of each borough council, said borough Manager Tom Smith.

Two Republicans will face off May 21 in the party's primary race for mayor. There are no declared candidates in the Democratic primary.

Joseph A. Scalamogna, 57, a former member of the Seneca Valley school board, is running against Victor Giannotta, 48, a physical education teacher and varsity basketball coach at Seneca Valley High School.

Mayor Edward Bayne has attended no municipal meetings for at least six months, Smith said.

In January, a state trooper investigating an online, child porn-sharing network downloaded a sex video featuring a young girl from a computer in Bayne's home, according to a search warrant served at the house. Bayne has not been charged.

Bayne's situation has had little impact on the race, Smith said.

“There was talk, posting on message boards, at the time of the search warrant. If Ed were running, it would be different,” Smith said.

“It has nothing to do with this race,” Giannotta said.

Scalamogna said: “I will allow due process to take its course.”

Bayne did return phone calls. Neither did state police, who served the warrant.

Council appointed Bayne as mayor in 2006 to fill an unexpired term. Voters elected him in 2009 to a full, four-year term.

Scalamogna is a geologist, environmental consultant and adjunct professor at Duquesne University. He served as a Seneca Valley Area School district director from 2007 to 2011.

Scalamogna supports a regional police department. The borough now uses Cranberry police.

“It would save money, and there would be an officer based out of Seven Fields under that plan,” he said.

He has lived in Seven Fields since 2000.

“I am hoping to keep a conservative approach to government,” he said of his goal as mayor.

Giannotta has lived in Seven Fields for eight years. He has worked at Seneca Valley for 10 years and previously worked at Sewickley Academy.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Giannotta graduated from Hunter College in Manhattan and earned a graduate degree in educational administration from the University of Dayton.

“I have been asked to run. I am a well-known member of the community. I thought I'd just throw my hat in the ring,” he said.

If elected, Giannotta said he would be involved in planning and running the new regional police department.

“I also will attend all of the meetings,” he said.

He said he is concerned about traffic in the borough, especially along Freeport Road.

“It's almost become a cut through to avoid Route 228. There is speeding and careless driving there,” he said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at rwills@tribweb.com.

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