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Commissioner candidates responses

| Friday, April 25, 2003

The Leader Times directed four questions to each of the candidates seeking their party's nomination for Armstrong County commissioner in the 2003 primary election. Today's story is based on their response to the fourth and final question.

For the candidates seeking the office of Armstrong County commissioner, talking about the issues can generate a response, ignite a debate and maybe even solve a problem.

So when asked: "As a commissioner, what single issue would you work the hardest on?" the 11 candidates in the May 20 primary got the dialogue started with their choice of issues and the position they would take.

Randy Cataldi (R)

Randy Cataldi said he would pursue new businesses.

"Aggressively pursue new business to locate in our county."

Raymond Fiscus (R)

Raymond Fiscus said he would strive to create jobs.

"Creating good paying jobs which will keep our younger generation in Armstrong County."

Patricia Kirkpatrick (R)

Patricia Kirkpatrick said she would work to create jobs.

"My number one priority will be job creation. Without job creation the future will be very bleak. The county residents will not have the opportunity to live and work locally unless we put a concerted effort into expanding the employer base and attracting new businesses that pay family sustaining wages. The outflow of young people is at an all time high because there are very few high skill, high wage jobs locally. I will develop a workforce development system consisting of K-12 education, technical education, post-secondary education and career development efforts. I will develop an advisory board who will discuss issues regarding job creation."

Edward Lattanzio (R)

Edward Lattanzio said the county needs to work as a team.

"We need a same team approach. One that includes all levels of county government working together. Commissioners, supervisors, councilmen, mayors, board leaders, civic leaders, school districts and employers focused on our common goal to better and to promote Armstrong County. We need this team to work without regard to who gets credit for what."

Incumbent James Scahill (R)

James Scahill said tax reform is the biggest issue.

"Tax reform. We have to get alternative ways to tax for all government, especially schools."

Samuel Schreckengost (R)

Samuel Schreckengost said bring in jobs and industry.

"Jobs and industry in the county. We have countywide manpower already available. We just need to bring more industry in."

Dan Warner (R)

Dan Warner said the entire county needs to be equally served.

"Serving the people of the whole county. There is no one issue that can be accomplished that will make a change to the quality of life without other changes having to come. The job is very large and complicated."

Ronald Covone (D)

Ronald Covone said everyone needs to cooperate.

"Cooperation. One single issue that determines everything else in the county. Look around and see how much time is spent on not cooperating. When you are working for the good of the majority you are bound to alienate the minority. Cool, level-headedness must prevail. Set aside individual goals and work for the good of a better Armstrong County. It really does take everyone from county level on down to make the efforts show results."

Incumbent Jack Dunmire (D)

Jack Dunmire said convert to a state sales tax.

"Tax reform. It is absolutely atrocious that we continue to tax people out of their homes when it would be so easy to convert to a state sales tax that includes clothing and no exemptions."

Rich Fink (D)

Rich Fink said bring quality jobs here.

"The single issue I will work the hardest will be to bring quality jobs to Armstrong County, jobs that provide a living wage and in turn gives the wage earner the capability to support a family. I have experienced much success as a job developer/peer counselor for U.M.W.A. Career Centers. I will bring that experience to this very important issue in Armstrong County. Developing high quality jobs will also serve to improve the economic climate for existing businesses."

Tony Roppolo (D)

Tony Roppolo said the I-80 connector is most important.

"I would make every effort to force the I-80 connector into reality. This single objective will immediately stimulate economic growth and development in northern Armstrong and the rippling effect will quickly have a positive impact throughout the entire county. The convenience for county travelers is minor contrasted to the massive economic boom it would be to the entire area. It will positively promote rapid economic growth and benefit the entire county."

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