4 candidates look to fill empty supervisor seat in Kiski Township
A woman has never served on Kiski Township’s Board of Supervisors since the township incorporated 188 years ago.
That could change Wednesday if the board appoints one of two women seeking to finish out the term of Jack Wilmot, who stepped down last month. Two men also are seeking appointment to the vacant seat.
Although township records show a woman has never served as supervisor, women have held positions of authority in Kiski, according to Donna Piper, who was hired last year as Kiski’s first township manager. Barb Talmadge also was a longtime township secretary before retiring, Piper said.
“I don’t consider myself a feminist,” said Rebecca Cyr-Rupert, 51, one of the women vying for the open supervisor seat. “I think people are equal. What matters is who is best for the job.”
Cyr-Rupert, a retired Pittsburgh police officer, said her background in public safety, contract negotiation, obtaining grants and working with Allegheny Council to pass ordinances would serve her well as a supervisor.
The other woman seeking the open seat, Sherry Tamski, said she is running because she sees “a lot of changes that need to be made in the township and it’s time to get some new perspectives and ideas.”
Tamski, however, said she thinks Cyr-Rupert is the best choice.
“If there was a public vote, I’d vote for her,” said Tamski, 51. “Cyr-Rupert is way qualified and has experience. She far exceeds me in the experience. If (supervisors) vote strictly by qualifications, Cyr-Rupert would win hands down.”
Samuel Calderone, 57, an electrician who serves as a maintenance supervisor at a power plant, said he wants to get involved in township affairs and his work schedule has become more flexible, allowing him to take on the responsibility.
“I have many years of heavy industry maintenance and I think some of my background will be useful as a township supervisor,” he said.
Chuck Rodnicki, 69, was a Kiski Township volunteer firefighter from 1968 to 1985 and has served on the township’s planning commission since 2012. He’s currently a non-firefighter member of the township’s volunteer fire department.
“It’s time to step up to help some of the issues and problems and try to solve things for the betterment of the township,” said Rodnicki, a Democrat, who is challenging incumbent Supervisor Dan Jaworskyj in November’s election.
Supervisors are expected to pick one of the four candidates during their regular meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
The candidate chosen will finish Wilmot’s term, which expires at the end of December 2021.
Several candidates said supervisors had not formally interviewed them as of Monday afternoon, although the candidates sent in letters of interest detailing their backgrounds.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .