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Bechtold will seek city council position

| Saturday, March 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Tim Bechtold, 47, announced his candidacy for Connellsville City Council. 3/20/13

Tim Bechtold, 47, has announced his candidacy for Connellsville City Council.

The Connellsville resident earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Tennessee and a M.S. in Athletic Training from Ohio University.

He worked as a head trainer with the New York Yankees minor leagues; trainer with the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals team doctors; teacher and back-country trip leader with Outside In School; and program supervisor with The Voice of Reason.

“I left the job of head baseball coach and assistant athletic trainer at a prestigious liberal arts college in Tennessee to serve a mission of working with at-risk youth,” Bechtold said. “I met my wife, Raecyne (Washington at the time), 12 years ago while supervising a residential treatment facility in Greensburg. When we married, we decided that Connellsville, a place where we had become part of a church community and where both sides of her family had lived for generations, would be the place we wanted to sink roots and raise a family.”

Bechtold said the recent death of his 85-year-old father caused him to revisit the priorities, values, and history his father sought to instill in Bechtold.

“The founding leadership of our country made a great sacrifice to leave their own homes, their trades, and their ambitions to become public servants as a way to do their part in making the country a better place to live,” Bechtold said. “I still believe in that noble concept of service, and do not see becoming an elected official as a way to expand my business interests nor to create opportunities to promote my personal agenda.”

Bechtold said he sees an opportunity to share his professional and life experience as a trained leader, team builder and manager in an effort to help serve the community.

“I want to contribute to Connellsville and help make it an even more positive place to raise a family,” he said, adding that the city needs a council member who can bring a new perspective and a new way to think about the city. “Someone who sees what this city has to offer the region, yet be aware of the obstacles that have been historically in our path and find solutions for them. I'm that person.”

Bechtold said during his time on the Connellsville Health Board and through various other community involvements, what he heard, whether true or perceived, is that there are two types of people on or running for council — the “old guard” who secretly control everything and pass all ordinances and codes to keep their and their crony's pockets lined and the out-of-town “opportunistic elite” who want to drive down prices, buy up the prime spots and drive out the poor in order to open new businesses.

“I am a far cry from being painted into either of those scenarios,” Bechtold said.

Bechtold and his wife have three sons: Greg, a 2012 Connellsville Area High School graduate; Teague, 3; and Che, 2.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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