Westmoreland County commissioner candidates discuss their plans
Candidates for Westmoreland County commissioner discussed their views on various subjects with the Tribune-Review. Those thoughts and ideas will be published weekly leading up to the Nov. 5 election.
For this week’s issue, the candidates were asked about improving the quality of life and increasing population in Westmoreland County.
The county’s comprehensive plan passed last year calls for a number of programs to increase population and improve quality of life. Candidates were asked to discuss their priorities to accomplish the goals identified in the plan and the county commissioners’ role in enacting items suggested in that document.
Ted Kopas (Democrat)
“I think we need to be looking a little bit bigger and how do we tap into this robust sports market that’s out there. There are a lot of families in this county spending a lot of money traveling out of the area. We need to look at sports complexes as well,” said Kopas, 46, of Hempfield.
Gina Cerilli (Democrat)
“To offer somebody a good job, a job that will put food on the table for their family, there is no reason for them to leave home,” said Cerilli, 33, of Hempfield.
Doug Chew (Republican)
“What we need is jobs. If we can start with jobs we can get the rest of these items in place. This comprehensive plan puts the cart before the horse,” said Chew, 49, of Hempfield.
Sean Kertes (Republican)
“I want to promote the jobs we have, at the high school level, and start looking at those jobs being filled and doing it that way,” said Kertes, 33, of Greensburg.
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 biochemist 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 .