Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas Kicks Off 2011 Campaign

LATROBE (February 15, 2011) –Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today announced his candidacy for the 2011 campaign. At an evening kickoff event attended by more than 250 supporters at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Kopas outlined his record in office and plans for the future of county government.

“It is honor and a privilege to serve as county commissioner and it is a responsibility I take very seriously,” Kopas said. “When I became Commissioner nine months ago, I pledged to not make outlandish promises, to not play political games with the important business we do, work hard every day, and to always be straight with the residents of this county.

“I stand by those pledges, and stand today with a record of doing it.”

Kopas continued, “I am proud of what we’ve done so far. We rewrote the county’s decades-old vehicle policy to better manage the county’s fleet, save money and prohibit commissioners from ever having take-home cars. We began energy efficiency programs at county facilities that will save sources and money. We refocused our office of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to better reflect those life-saving programs. We made significant investments in our Community College and the Arnold Palmer Airport to help our local economy. And we passed a budget that kept taxes flat and actually will spend less in operating expenses this year than the year before.

“Personally, I‘ve tried to lead by example, by refusing a pay raise, a county car, mileage reimbursement and a cell phone.

Commissioner Kopas also laid out his goals for the future.

“I am proud of the work I have done so far, but I recognize the challenges and opportunities ahead. We need to make sure that Westmoreland County government is stretching every dollar, while investing wisely to ensure high-quality human service programs, economic development opportunities, public safety and recreation options.

“Due almost entirely to the state budget crisis there are no doubt going to be county budget challenges since so much of what we do is controlled by Harrisburg. I think I proved during our most recent budget cycle that I am willing to make the tough choices, be a leader and be straight with taxpayers. The budgets we pass on my watch will always be prudent, responsible and realistic.

“We must continue our work to improve our human service programs. It is our duty to enhance services for vulnerable seniors, at-risk young people and those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

“County government can also bolster economic development opportunities by making sure our local business community has the variety of sites it needs in our industrial parks to start or expand operations. We will work to complete the renovation of the former Sony complex to accommodate multiple companies. And we will continue to work with Marcellus shale gas companies to help grow that industry responsibly, while giving communities the planning tools they need to protect their interests.

“Lastly, we will continue to treasure the natural splendor that we have in Westmoreland County by finalizing our expansion at Twin Lakes Park and by preserving areas of special interest through the Westmoreland Land Trust.

“I believe that county government can have a positive impact on the lives of our citizens. I believe our residents deserve quality services and programs. And I believe we can do this while making sure our government is cost-effective.”

Commissioner Kopas was unanimously appointed by the county’s judges on May 24, 2010, to fulfill an unexpired term. Prior to his appointment he served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Kopas is a 1995 graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He was born and raised in the village of Westmoreland City in North Huntingdon Township. Ted now lives in Hempfield Township with his wife, April, and their five children, Elle (16), Alex (14), Quinn (8), Jack (3) and Teddy (5 months).

For more information, visit www.tedkopas.com

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