Challengers win Hampton council race
Three new members will be taking seats on the Hampton Township Council after winning the general election, Nov. 7.
Carolynn Johnson, Bethany Blackburn and Michael Peters succeeded in the race, unseating longtime members Peter Russ, Cary Montgomery and current council president, Victor Son.
The three successors are all Democrats and thanked the residents for support with a promise to work hard over the course of their terms.
“We also extend our gratitude and appreciation to Victor Son, Peter Russ, and Cary Montgomery for their years of public service to our community. Over the next four years, we plan to foster a culture that is open to new ideas that will make our community even better,” said Blackburn, Johnson and Peters collectively.
The unofficial count per the Allegheny County Elections Night Final as of Nov. 8 showed Johnson won 18.66 percent, 2,043, of the votes in Hampton; Blackburn at 18.91 percent or 2,071; Peters at 18.04 percent, or 1,975; Russ at 15.10 percent or 1,653; Montgomery at 14.65 percent or 1,604; and Son at 14.59 percent or 1,598 votes. A write-in was recorded for .05 percent, or six votes.
A total of 10,950 votes were cast in Hampton Township, according to the county elections results.
Blackburn, 41, is a division administrator for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, specifically as part of its ambulatory management team. She was a former analyst for three years for the finance department of City of Santa Clara, Calif.
She's been married 16 years to Jason Blackburn, and they have three children ages 13, 11 and 6.
“I plan to leverage my previous experience in municipal finance to keep the upgrade of the sewage treatment facility on track, while maintaining the fiscal conservatism appreciated by residents,” said Blackburn, adding to open up discussion for more strategically placed bike lanes and sidewalks.
Johnson, 46, has a doctorate in cognitive psychology and uses human-centered research and design to build user-friendly products. She manages human factors and analysis at Daedalus, a local design consultancy. Her government experience includes authoring regulatory standards, she said.
“I am eager to explore innovative solutions to the issues facing Hampton, including improvements to the Route 8 corridor and better support for seniors and families, while maintaining fiscal responsibility. I expect my experience in user-centered design, which involves bringing disparate stakeholders together to facilitate solutions that satisfy all parties, will be advantageous to that end,” said Johnson.
She is married to Scott Johnson for 20 years. They have a daughter.
Peters, 66, worked 37 years for prominent manufacturers of heavy industrial equipment for the steel industry, most notably Tippins, Inc., he said. At the same time he owned a business consulting company. And he served as president of Interstate Sales and Services Company until his retirement in 2010.
He is married to Debbie, with whom he has a daughter. He also served on the Hampton Township Environmental Advisory Board.
“Whether it is making the community center more handicapped friendly, developing a more inclusive governing culture, or improving permitting and zoning, we are committed to working hard for the residents of Hampton. As a former corporate executive with managerial, budgetary and day-to-day operational experience, I look forward to working with township staff and continuing to provide the high-quality services the residents have come to expect,” Peters said.
Son has served on council since 2004 and has been president since 2006. He also was elected as controller in 1996.
Russ has served council since 2002 and has been vice president for approximately 10 years. Montgomery has also served on council for approximately 12 years.
Fellow current council members are Richard Dunlap, Sherry Neugebauer, and Controller Jerry Speakman.
Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.