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Political newcomer Lincoln enters race for Connellsville mayor

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 7:12 p.m.
Greg Lincoln

Greg Lincoln, 39, of Connellsville, is seeking a nomination on the Democratic ticket for his first political run for office — mayor of Connellsville.

He aims to get enough votes on the Democratic ticket in the May 21 primary for his name will appear on the ballot in the Nov. 5 general election.

Lincoln is a volunteer member of the Connellsville Parks and Recreation Board.

He said his time serving on the board spurred him to seek public office.

“After volunteering my time on the city's Parks and Recreation Board, I have been able to see the truths of what is occurring in our city and feel that we all deserve better. Change is needed in order for Connellsville to prosper and, I want to be part of that change,” Lincoln said.

The political newcomer said he has a perspective on changes.

“I feel like I would be a great mayor because I have a vision of what Connellsville can be, and I have the passion and energy to make that vision a reality,” said Lincoln.

The Connellsville Area High School alumnus obtained a bachelor of arts degree in science at the University of South Carolina. He is employed with the North Fayette County Municipal Authority.

With a focus on community service, Lincoln said he would work closely with local nonprofit groups and encourage a stronger sense of neighbors helping neighbors.

“Community service is one of the main focus points I will have if elected, and I will work with all the city's nonprofits to assist in this effort,” Lincoln said. “I would like to get community-service programs organized through our local schools to provide the opportunity for all children to see that giving back to your community is a great way to keep it safe, strong and vibrant. I would ask all citizens to take pride in your neighborhood, get involved, and keep your property maintained. Since we do have an older population throughout the city, I would ask that you offer assistance to those who may need it. Community service simply builds pride and enhances the quality of life for all citizens.”

Because of his involvement with the city Parks and Recreation Board, Lincoln said, he understands the need to keep the city's parks thriving. He would plan to implement ways not only to keep parks maintained but to enhance them for the community.

“Another focus point is getting funding for the Parks and Recreation Department included in the city's budget,” Lincoln said. “Connellsville cannot allow our parks to fall apart and deteriorate. The parks provide a safe environment for adults and kids that are full of fun and free activities. Parks also play a very big part in attracting new families to our city.”

Lincoln said the focus must be on Connellsville's finances. He believes a mayor must strive to attract new businesses and families and to promote growth in the city. A mayor must let the people know the city is a viable place to live, work and find entertainment.

“The No. 1 issue addressing the city right now is its finances,” Lincoln said. “The City of Connellsville is in financial distress, and the citizens need to know what is occurring. The city had to take out a second loan of $650,000 in order to stay afloat and to help pay off the $450,000 loan from the prior year. They continue to take on additional financial burdens, not knowing how much they will collect in taxes, and I promise to never pass a budget that inflates revenue just to get it approved.

“ I would also work to promote our city outside of the local area to attract new businesses here. New business will increase our tax base ,which the city so desperately needs and provide additional employment opportunities for our citizens,” Lincoln said.

“As mayor, I would be transparent in my leadership and welcome all citizens of Connellsville to be a part of the decisions that affect their town,” Lincoln said. “I personally am dedicated to building a community that will prosper for generations, and if given the opportunity by the citizens, I promise to do my best and make decisions based on what is best for the entire city now and in the future.”

Lincoln and his wife, Leigh Ann, have two children.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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