Republicans jockey for control
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Prosecutors want texts back in Pinkney trial
- Fast-growing Americans for Prosperity opens location in Greensburg
- Officials plan software upgrade to Westmoreland County emergency dispatching system
- Westmoreland County Courthouse, annex roofs will be given $665K fix
- Ligonier Township planners offer suggested changes to zoning proposal
- Police claim woman stabbed husband at their Jeannette business