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Incumbent mayor faces challenger in Irwin

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 2:07 p.m.

Incumbent Dan Rose will battle 3rd Ward resident Virginia DiPrimio in the May 15 primary race for mayor of Irwin Borough.

Rose has served as mayor for 12 years, but his political life began long before that.

'In 1970, my neighbor came up, said, 'Do you want to run for council,' I said no,' Rose said, laughing.

He spent the next 18 years on council, nine of them as president.

'It gives me a chance to talk to people to help people out. It's a PR job, to keep the communications open between borough and the citizens,' he said. 'I always dealt with people, and rather enjoy it.'

He honed his people skills as a sales manager at Prudential Insurance for 32 years. He still works as an insurance broker, only with a partner as a free-lancer.

Rose is a member of the Norwin Chamber of Commerce, the Citizens Advisory Board for Jeannette District Memorial Hospital and the borough's community affairs committee.

As manager of the police department, Rose wants to make sure at least a full-time officer is on duty on every shift. This will give both the borough and its officers added security and safety, he said.

Rose is proud how Irwin treats its mostly part-time police force. The borough always gives the officers the opportunity to improve themselves through training classes in order to move on to better jobs.

'I think we do very, very well. The chief really makes sure he lets me know when the next class is open,' Rose said.

Because Irwin is under two square miles, Rose would like to see the borough get rid of the wards, which would give the top seven overall vote-getters council seats.

Wards dilute the vote, making it easier to win seats in certain parts of the town, and tough in others.

'Instead of 80 votes, you may have to get 400,' Rose said.

Rose would also like to see council reduced to five seats.

'County only has three,' he said.

He is running for re-election because he enjoys his job and feels he has more to offer Irwin.

'You're never finished, just like life, every morning you have to get up.'

DiPrimio is a lifelong Irwin resident. She was elected to council in 1986 and served one term.

'In my mind, I know what I'm going to do, but I don't want to make it public right now. I really can't divulge (my plans and ideas) right now,' she said. 'If I win the election, that's when they'll probably find out.'

Along with the mayor's race, she's running for a council seat in the 3rd Ward.

She is a 20-year member of the Irwin Democratic Committee, and served as chairman for the past six years.

'I've been interested in my town all my life. Was on council years ago, and I have the experience and the knowledge to know what our needs are,' she said. 'More or less the town needs updated. It's just behind.'

DiPrimio wouldn't say how the town could be brought into the modern world, but instead looked to her accomplishments she made as a council member.

One of the things she is proud of is helping bring bus service to Irwin, she said.

'Wherever I had to go to find information, I went,' she said. 'Because I'm a very involved and caring person.'

Diprimio called herself a homemaker, although she works part time. She wouldn't say where.

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