Westmoreland commissioners race: Candidates discuss county finances, taxes | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Westmoreland commissioners race: Candidates discuss county finances, taxes

Rich Cholodofsky

Candidates for Westmoreland County commissioner discussed their views on various subjects with the Tribune-Review, which will be published weekly leading up to the Nov. 5 election.

Up first are excerpts from their take on the county’s financial situation and taxes. Full versions of their responses can be seen on video at TribLIVE.com.

Commissioners for more than a decade have passed deficit budgets balanced through the use of a surplus fund. That surplus is expected to be reduced to about $5 million at the end of 2019. The candidates were asked how they proposed to balance future budgets, if they propose service or personnel cuts and their position with regards to a potential increase in property taxes.

Gina Cerilli (Democrat)

“If and when we are faced with a tax increase and if we have exhausted all other avenues, if we raise taxes it has to be just to cover the expenses for that year,” said Cerilli, 33, of Hempfield.

Doug Chew (Republican)

“I am not proposing any service cuts nor any personnel cuts. I also don’t have in my plan to raise property taxes,” said Chew, 49, of Hempfield.

Sean Kertes (Republican)

“Do I foresee taxes going up, we won’t know until the budget comes up closer to December. Where we’re at with our tax base at this point I can’t answer that question,” said Kertes, 33, of Greensburg.

Ted Kopas (Democrat)

“I am very proud that Westmoreland County hasn’t raised taxes in 15 years nor have I raised taxes in my two terms in office, a record I am proud of and plan to continue for as long as possible.”

Voters will choose three of the candidates to serve on the board of commissioners.

Incumbents Cerilli and Kopas are joined on the ballot by challengers Kertes and Chew.

Cerilli is seeking her second term in office. Kopas was first appointed to the board in 2010 and elected to his first full four-year term in office in 2011.

Kertes works as the chief of staff to Commissioner Charles Anderson, who is retiring at the end of his term.

Chew is a microbiologist who previously worked as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and now serves as a self-employed grant writing consultant. He is making his first run for public office.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .


1754561_web1_kertes
Republican candidate for Westmoreland County commissioner Sean Kertes
1754561_web1_gtr-TedKopas
Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas, a Democrat
1754561_web1_ptr-GinaCerilli
Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli, a Democrat
1754561_web1_gtr-chew
Republican candidate for Westmoreland County commissioner Douglas Chew
Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.