DeWitt 3rd Democratic mayoral candidate in Connellsville

| Thursday, March 7, 2013, 5:42 p.m.

A third candidate has announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination for Connellsville mayor in the May 21 primary election.

“It has been a dream of mine, since I have been a young boy, to become mayor of my hometown,” said Joshua DeWitt, 27.

Also seeking the Democratic nomination are Mayor Charles Matthews and political newcomer Gregory Lincoln. Both announced their candidacies several weeks ago.

A Connellsville Area High School alumnus, DeWitt is general manager of a local business, a Pennsylvania-licensed insurance agent and is co-owner of Miedel's Restaurant.

This is the first time DeWitt has sought political office.

“I feel as if I would make a wonderful mayor because I am ready to promote all businesses within the city and to make Connellsville the more positive and upbeat town that I know it can be,” he said.

The candidate is a volunteer at Connellsville Community Ministries and Connellsville Carnegie Library. He said the library is a “fantastic attribute to the community.”

DeWitt said in his announcement that he donates to the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

He said Connellsville is in need of change and hopes he can be the one to lead the residents in the quest for a better city.

“I believe Connellsville needs a change for the good, and I feel as if I am on the same page with the community on their definition of change,” DeWitt said. “The community needs to grow, advance and prosper. I am ready to listen to the community and its concerns and tackle each obstacle by taking it step by step and also by viewpoint to find a solution to all concerns. I am ready to be a contributing factor in creating change within our hometown.”

DeWitt said he feels strongly about two aspects of Connellsville that need more attention and which should be used more — city parks and Connellsville Community Center.

“The parks are not like they used to be when I was a child growing up — beautiful and fun. They have turned into vandalized places, which deter adults from wanting there children to go to the parks,” he said.

DeWitt said he would work toward cleaning up the parks and having them funded.

“Something needs to be done. I myself am a newlywed, and my wife and I are planning on having children — and as of now I wouldn't want my children to go there because of the vandalism. Those parks are not only beautiful, but are a historic part of our community that needs and deserves to be maintained, for the sake of the children, young adults, and adults, to go relax, have fun and a place to spend time with their family. I have such wonderful ideas in ways that we can enhance our local parks and make them the best they can be.”

DeWitt said if he were mayor, he is determined to get funding for the parks and recreation department included in the city's budget.

DeWitt said the Connellsville Community Center is a lost asset.

“In our town we have another wonderful historic facility — the Connellsville Community Center — in which most don't even know exists,” DeWitt said. “I want to change that and help fund the center. The center has a beautiful gymnasium, a newly renovated state-of-the-art theater, conference rooms and much more. The center is a place where people can go have fun and feel safe in their environment. It is time that we, the residents of our town, take pride in where we live and make change a reality.”

“I am all about the community and I am also all about the children of our community,” DeWitt said. “I want to make a fun volunteering program within the schools that even though they are only children, I want to educate them that they, too, can make a difference. I also want to help the non-profit organizations of our town and help them grow as well. I am very excited about these ideas and have many more if I am elected. If I were selected, I would never turn down anyone. I believe in being up-front, honest and helping. I would and will forever have an open-door policy.”

DeWitt said he is ready to “help continue to develop our community. I am an energetic, outgoing, and most of all a sincere person. We, the community of Connellsville, can change the face of the city if you vote DeWitt for mayor.”

DeWitt is planning to kick off his campaign at 7 p.m. Saturday at Meidel's Restaurant. He invites the community to meet with him.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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