Helwig, Ziencik, Overly and Miller win four-year terms on Springdale Council
The second time was the charm for a Springdale man looking for a seat on borough council.
Harry Helwig Jr. was the top vote-getter among five candidates vying for four, four-year seats, according to unofficial Allegheny County election results. Helwig had three votes over incumbent Michael Ziencik.
Also re-elected were incumbents Jason Overly and Eileen Miller.
Anna Spirk, who had been appointed to council in January, lost her bid for election. She was on the ballot as a Republican after being written-in at the May primary, which featured Democrats only.
Miller was the only candidate for one two-year council seat, on both party ballots. She will have to claim one of the two seats, leaving the other vacant and for council to fill with an appointment.
Spirk and Miller could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
Helwig said he was “ecstatic” about winning.
“I think I can help turn this around a little bit. I'm going to try,” he said. “If I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem. I think this council can work together pretty well. I'm anxious to get started.”
Helwig said the first thing he'll want to take on upon taking office in January is the problem of commercial vehicles parked on streets.
“Our streets aren't wide enough for commercial vehicles to be sitting,” he said. “A fire truck is going to have to get up some of these streets and is not going to be able to do it.”
Unlike recent elections, write-ins did not appear to be a factor this year in the races for council or mayor. There were only 15 for council and eight for mayor, according to unofficial results.
Joe Bertoline easily won the mayor's office. He had been the only candidate and appeared on both party ballots. He will replace outgoing Mayor Ken Lloyd.
Bertoline said he had been at the polls all day, despite being unopposed.
“I want the people to know I'm sincere about this,” he said. And, “I wasn't sure if anybody was going to do a write-in campaign or not. I wasn't taking anything for granted.”
Bertoline said he'll be going into office with no set priorities.
“I can't wait to get in there and get my feet wet and see how this whole system works out,” he said. “It's going to be a learning curve for me for sure.”