TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Republicans jockey for control

- Kathleen McCormick
Kathleen McCormick
- Deb Sompel
Deb Sompel
- Gene James
Gene James
- Jonathan Vesely, candidate for Greensburg City Council
Jonathan Vesely, candidate for Greensburg City Council

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Kathleen McCormick

Age: 59

Political party: Republican

Education: Master's in education, California University of Pennsylvania

Occupation: Retired teacher

Marital status: Married, two children

Deb Sompel

Age: 50

Political party: Republican

Education: Attended Westmoreland County Community College

Occupation: Personal trainer and owner of drug-testing business

Marital status: Single

Gene James

Age: 68

Political party: Democrat

Education: Attended Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Virginia; Carnegie Mellon University research assistant.

Occupation: Retired

Marital status: Married, two children

Jonathan Vesely

Age: 35

Political party: Democrat

Education: Attended University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Occupation: United Parcel Service

Marital status: Married, two children

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

For the first time in more than a decade, Republicans can take control of Greensburg City Council.

Incumbent Kathleen McCormick and fellow Republican Deb Sompel are battling Democrats Gene James and Jonathan Vesely for two seats in the Nov. 5 election.

Democrat Rob DePasquale decided not to seek re-election. McCormick, completing her first term, holds the other open spot. Republican Bill Eger already serves on the five-member council.

Despite their party possibly taking control, McCormick and Sompel said they are running as individuals.

“I'm running my own campaign, and I'm running on my record,” McCormick said. “I'm working for the needs of our business owners and residents of Greensburg.”

She called herself a person who has brought change, noting improvements that happened, in part, because of her efforts to revamp the 5th Ward Playground and on Madison Avenue.

City police have cracked down on illegal drugs, and she wants that to continue, McCormick said. People must be better educated about the harmful effects of using illegal substances, she added.

She said she further is concerned about council's failure to ease enforcement of building code regulations — something current members said they would do in the last election but haven't.

Since she is retired, McCormick said she has the time to devote to council.

Sompel said she is a hard worker and will bring that to the city board.

“I'm going to work. I'm not just going out putting up signs,” she said.

Many residents and business owners remain unhappy with what they view as overenforcement of building regulations, she said. Sompel said she knows business owners who have avoided Greensburg because of the regulations.

As a challenger, she doesn't know yet how to solve all problems, but that will come once she is elected, Sompel said

“I plan on getting answers,” she added.

James touted his experience as a manager.

“I'm — as near as I can tell — the only person who has management and governance experience,” James said of the candidates.

He co-founded Westmoreland On-Line, an Internet company, served as a vice president of Overly Door Co. and was chapter chairman of the American Red Cross. He is committee chairman of SummerSounds, a concert series held annually in Greensburg, and serves on the city's zoning hearing board.

James said he would bring much-needed knowledge of technology to council.

“I'm a technology person. I'm an engineer. I'm a geek,” James said.

He likes the importance city officials have placed on expanding Seton Hill University and Excela Health, but added, “We can't put all our eggs in one basket.”

Greensburg officials must attract other companies, he said.

As a way to save money, he wants council to begin putting professional services out for bid.

Vesely did not return calls for an interview.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Jeannette man arrested in city shooting
  2. Last option for former Jeannette Glass site: Pa. Supreme Court
  3. Hole in North Huntingdon dance studio believed to be from car crash
  4. McKeesport man ordered to trial in New Stanton hotel homicide
  5. $200K grant will go toward demolition at Monsour Medical site
  6. Hempfield joins county land bank
  7. Hempfield library programs at risk as funds dip
  8. Kecksburg celebrates its UFO history with annual festival
  9. Traffic detour lifted
  10. Police identify Acme man who died after crash
  11. Fairfield Township resident honored by Loyalhanna Watershed Association