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Seneca Valley basketball coach ready to take a shot at being mayor

| Sunday, June 2, 2013, 12:44 a.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

Victor Giannotta does not see much difference between being a mayor and coaching basketball, which he has done for more than two decades.

“I'll at least know how to deal with disgruntled phone calls. There are similarities in both positions,” said Giannotta, varsity basketball coach at Seneca Valley High School and winner of the Republican nomination for mayor of Seven Fields.

Giannotta defeated geologist and environmental consultant Joseph Scalamonga to win the GOP nomination for mayor 67-41.

There are 1,716 registered voters in Seven Fields, according to the Butler County Bureau of Elections.

“I'd heard the turnout was low. It's disappointing. Post-presidential elections often have a low turnout. People need to be more involved,” Giannotta said.

No Democrats ran in the mayoral primary, although an independent candidate could run in the general election.

For now, Giannotta has no declared opposition in the November general election. If elected, Giannotta would take office in January. He plans to regularly attend municipal meetings for the rest of this year.

Edward Bayne, current mayor of Seven Fields, has attended no municipal meetings for at least six months, according to borough records.

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 had little impact on the race, both candidates said.

The borough's manager, Tom Smith, says Bayne has stopped in the office twice this year to sign ordinances and is still being paid. The position earns a salary of $1,200 a year.

The new mayor will be involved in formation of a regional police department with Evans City, which is planned to start in 2015. The new police board will include mayors from each municipality and two members of each borough council, Smith said.

Giannotta, a father of two boys, 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., he earned a graduate degree in educational administration from the University of Dayton.

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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