Mack, DeSantis face off for mayor of New Stanton
While New Stanton's two candidates for mayor agree that development and commercial expansion will be good for the borough, they're divided over which person would be more available to the public.
The challenger, Democratic candidate James Mack, a dentist, said he would be more accessible than the incumbent, Nick DeSantis, a Republican who is seeking a new four-year term in the November general election.
“I want to be available,” Mack said. “My opponent, he's not that available. He travels a lot.”
DeSantis said he travels about once a month for his job as a quality engineer for Areva Inc.
“I'm very available,” DeSantis countered. “I'm out in the neighborhood constantly with my kids.”
DeSantis, who serves on the park and recreation board, said he is always available at the park or by phone, as well as at his church, Holy Cross Catholic Church in Youngwood. He also volunteers at Stanwood Elementary School.
While he is out in the community, DeSantis said, residents often stop and ask him for help with problems.
“Just part of the territory,” he said. “I don't mind it.”
Mack said residents will always know where to find him: at the dentist office at Highland and Center avenues, where he has practiced for 36 years.
He is a former chairman of the zoning hearing board, which he served on for 20 years. He previously was elected to borough council in the early 2000s.
“I pitch in where I can, because a community always does better if people try to give a little bit back for the community,” Mack said.
Both men have a vision for New Stanton.
Mack said he would like to have the “crossroads of the world” a little cleaner and a little safer.
“I'd like to see if we could address a little more crime,” he said.
Mack said he has noticed a recent increase in the crime rate. He suggests better lighting and a Neighborhood Watch program to curtail crime.
He said he welcomes the changes that the Interstate 70 ramp construction will bring.
“We have to adapt to what's coming,” he said.
DeSantis said he too supports development and he's working to get a supermarket in or near the borough. He said he has worked to find grants to help fund the new borough building project.
“I just like getting involved — to get in there and try to get things done,” he said.
DeSantis said he would like to serve another term as mayor because he enjoys it, and the position allows him to work for funding for youth recreation programs during budget sessions.
“We don't want to the kids to be shortchanged,” he said.
Kate Wilcox is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.