Meet the candidates: Baldwin Borough Council | TribLIVE.com
South Hills

Meet the candidates: Baldwin Borough Council

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James Behers
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Patty Boyer
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Rebecca Conley
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Denise Maiden

Baldwin Borough Council candidates want to see community day brought back to life, public safety put at the forefront and fiscal responsibility in the community.

Four candidates will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot, each seeking to fill one of three open, four-year seats. Newcomers Denise Maiden and Patty Boyer received both Democratic and Republican party nominations in the Primary, while incumbent James Behers received the Democratic nomination to appear on the November ballot. Newcomer Rebecca Conley received a Republican nomination to appear on the ballot.

The Trib asked each candidate the same three questions. Here are their responses.

Denise Maiden

Party affiliation: Democrat

Residence: Baldwin Borough

Why did you decide to run for election? I have been a Baldwin resident for my entire adult life. My husband Tom and I raised our three children here: Tom, Keith and Kelly. Three of our grandchildren are currently attending Baldwin-Whitehall Schools: Keith, Kurt and Kyle. I can’t think of a better place to live and to raise a family or a better focus for my attention and efforts. I believe that this is my time to give back to this community.

What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? Our borough is going through some exciting growth spurts. As we grow and diversify, the focus will be to service this larger community efficiently and maintain our infrastructure. While this will be the focus, my underlying desire as a member of council will be to bring back Community Day and other family-oriented, community-building events. We are a close-knit community and I am very optimistic about getting community involvement both from our long-time friends and neighbors and from our new friends and neighbors. Together there is so much that we can accomplish.

What do voters need to know about you? I understand that each person has a different perspective and I have found that, with very few exceptions, there is something to be learned from each and every one. I hope to hear from people that have yet to express themselves at our council meetings.

It is your borough. Come up and get involved. I recently retired from my role as prepress manager for the American Economic Association. I am very proud to have had an integral role in changing the way many large academic publishers convert mathematical manuscripts for distribution and enhanced accessibility. My authors were some of the greatest minds of our generation. Having had the opportunity to work with them was simultaneously a challenge and a thrill. I learned so much along the way. I cannot wait to use these problem-solving skills in a practical, close-to-home application by working for the community that means the world to me.

Patty Boyer

Party affiliation: Democrat

Residence: Baldwin Borough

Why did you decide to run for election? I want to play an active role to keep my community moving forward in a positive direction. I feel the concerns of the residents are my concerns as well, and I will do my best to make sure they (are) heard and addressed.

What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? Bringing back prior events for the community and creating new ones as well. These events include Baldwin Community Day and parade, family-oriented activities for children, Easter egg hunt, etc. I’m in favor of hiring an events coordinator to organize such events. Also, keeping the police force fully-staffed to make sure our residents are always protected. They do a phenomenal job already and I would like to make sure they have the resources to continue to protect and serve our community. The fire department mainly depends on volunteers and fundraising, so I would like to reach out to the community to let them know they could use donations to keep our fire stations running. We could thank our residents who donate yearly during the fundraisers, the stations wouldn’t be able to operate without their help.

What do voters need to know about you? I have been a resident of Baldwin Borough for 37 years. I am recently retired from Baldwin-Whitehall School District as a secretary at the administration office for 22 years. My daughter attended Baldwin school district and graduated from Baldwin High School with honors. She is currently married with twin boys and they reside in Baldwin Borough. Her sons will be attending Paytner Elementary school in the fall next year.

James R. Behers

Party affiliation: Democrat

Municipality: Baldwin Borough

Why did you decide to run for election? I’m running for re-election because there are issues that I want to see to completion. Our police department has undergone a lot of changes. We have a new chief and just promoted an officer to deputy chief. We are currently in the process of promoting other officers and the hiring of new patrol officers. Public safety is the committee I currently chair and the safety and well-being of our residents is very important to me. I want to see the completion of the restoration of Elm Leaf Park and Colewood Park.

What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? One of the biggest issues of our times is the funding of all current and future infrastructure issues. We’ve had quite a few landslides that have cost the borough a lot of money. Our roads are not getting repaired and resurfaced as they should, due to lack of funding. We need additional revenue without taxing our residents.

What do voters need to know about you? The residents of Baldwin Borough need to know that I care deeply about our community. I want to see fun times brought back to our borough. I would like to see our Community Day brought back, as well as other new exciting events for all to enjoy. I always have, and will continue to work hard for our residents.

Rebecca A. Conley

Party affiliation: Republican

Municipality: Baldwin Borough

Why did you decide to run for election? I chose to run for office because it is important to have a borough council that reflects the community and sees challenges as an opportunity for growth and innovation. As a PA eMentor and young professional, I believe it is important to engage the younger generation in government affairs and community development. Growing up in Baldwin and graduating as a Fighting Highlander in 2009, I learned the present is just as important as our future and the experiences our children have largely shape the health of our community. We need proactive leaders who are willing to learn from older generations while being connected to the needs of our young working professionals to promote and enforce policies that enable responsible development while protecting our natural resources and showcasing community assets. I want to elevate our community and promote it as a place where all families can succeed, have opportunities to volunteer and feel safe.

What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? Keeping our residents safe and providing our public safety officials with the resources they need should be a top priority of council. Now more than ever, local municipalities like ours are being asked to do more with less, which is why I view the role of a council member so critical to the success and advocacy for our community. If elected, I would communicate and meet with area state and federal officials to foster positive economic growth in our community and more actively pursue potential grant opportunities that would benefit old and young alike. It is through these networks and relationships we can bring new programs to our residents while capitalizing on opportunities that lessen financial burdens passed on to taxpayers. We need to come together as a community to develop innovative short and long-term fiscally sustainable strategies that address public safety concerns – such as crumbling infrastructure and land management – while advocating for youth programs that promote positive civic engagement and enable our future generations to thrive. Taxpayers invest in our community and it is time they see a greater return on their investment.

What do voters need to know about you? Serving on council should be a personal commitment to better our community, not a means to gain financially or professionally. I have not accepted contributions from individuals, special interest groups or political committees, nor do I have an election committee that would enable me to do so. I am only interested (in) strengthening our community through leadership that is fiscally responsible, innovative and protective of our resources. I would ask voters to cast their ballot for me due to my willingness to put politics aside and put people first. There has always been a lot of negativity in politics, but I don’t think it has to be that way and we can lead by example to other communities. Everyone deserves an opportunity to have their perspective heard and our community deserves a leader who is willing to listen respectfully and do what is best for the community, not a specific interest group or ideology.

Categories: Local | South Hills
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