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Latrobe councilwoman to run for mayor

| Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Democrat Rosie Wolford, a three-term council member, is a candidate for mayor of Latrobe.Submitted

Latrobe Councilwoman Rosie Wolford said she will seek the Democratic Party's nomination for mayor for a four-year term with the mayor deciding she will not run for re-election.

Wolford, 52, whose term expires in 2015, said she had decided she would not challenge Republican Mayor Barbara Griffin, a retired teacher, if the mayor decided to run for a second term.

Wolford, who is in the midst of her third term on council, said she believes that Latrobe is “on the brink of more great things, and I want to help lead my hometown forward.”

A lifelong resident of Latrobe, Wolford is manager of labor relations and medical services for Latrobe Specialty Metals, where she has been employed for 31 years.

Latrobe residents will vote for a new mayor as the city is in the midst of a revitalization initiative. The city will be home to a Westmoreland County Community College campus at the intersection of Depot and Jefferson streets. Latrobe officials have worked on a walking path to connect the city with nearby St. Vincent College and has worked with design students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania on a 1.6-mile walking path along the Lincoln Avenue corridor.

But the city faces financial challenges. Officials are working on an early intervention plan to address its long-term financial health. An independent financial consultant has been hired to prepare a three-to-five-year financial plan and management review.

Among the issues the new mayor and council are likely to decide is the operation of Latrobe's transfer station, which generates revenue by charging users a fee to drop off trash, which the city transports to a licensed landfill. Revenue from the transfer station has been used to balance the budget.

A controversy arose last year over whether to privatize the operation. Wolford had favored taking more time to study the issue.

Wolford is chairwoman of the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program and took leadership of the initiative when Ronald Weimer retired. She is serving her sixth year as vice chairwoman of the Westmoreland County Transit Authority and recently was appointed to the Westmoreland County Community College Foundation Board. She is a member of the Latrobe-Unity Parks & Recreation Commission and Adams Memorial Library in Latrobe.

The deadline for submitting nominating petitions for the spring primary is March 12.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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