GREENSBURG (February 11, 2015) – Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today announced his candidacy for re-election. Commissioner Kopas has a record of service, responsibility, and results.
“Westmoreland County is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family, and I am proud of the role our county government plays in that,” Kopas said. “I believe, too, that our best days are ahead, and county government best serves our residents when it’s open, accountable and fiscally responsible. That’s been my approach since I took office. I have been accessible, straightforward and committed to always doing what’s in the best interests of taxpayers.
“I have made it a priority to ensure our residents have access to good-paying jobs. That’s why as Commissioner I oversaw important investments in our industrial parks, expanding job opportunities and private business ventures throughout the county. Projects like the former Sony facility, which was vacant when I took office and is now productive once again with more than 500 jobs. It’s why I had the courage when I first took office to invest in a struggling county airport that had zero commercial passengers and now will have 300,000 pass through its gates this year. It’s why I’ve supported the high-tech training efforts of our Community College to make sure we continue to have the best-trained workforce possible. And it’s why I initiated the new countywide Land Bank to battle blight and promote investment in our communities.
“We’ll build on that work not just by improving what we have, but by building a new industrial park in Sewickley Township, aggressively courting new businesses to fill the RIDC Westmoreland complex, and by tearing down the former Monsour Hospital in Jeannette once and for all.
“Part of keeping Westmoreland County great is making sure families have recreation options. That’s why I’ve supported, and why I’m so proud of, the improvements that have taken place at our county parks and network of trails.”
Kopas continued, “I never lose sight of the thousands of folks throughout Westmoreland County who depend on the vital services we provide – seniors, children at risk of abuse or neglect, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I will continue to work every day to ensure that those who, through no fault of their own, need those often life-savings services get what they deserve and the quality that their loved ones expect.
“Part of that life-sustaining work includes ensuring that Westmoreland County’s public safety network remains state-of-the-art and that our first responders have the resources they need.
“Our work must also include an enhanced focus on people struggling with addiction, who are not only dying in record numbers, but also overcrowding our prison and overwhelming an inadequate support system. The countywide Drug Overdose Task Force I am co-chairing has done outstanding work framing the problem and identifying potential solutions. I will work to make sure it results in action – with a new specialized Drug Court, initiatives to reduce offender recidivism and more effective treatment.
Commissioner Kopas has a proven track record of fighting for taxpayers, reforming county government, and hands-on approach with both residents and county staff.
“I have never raised taxes. I have voluntarily cut my own personal staff, never received reimbursement for any expenses, and ended the practice of Commissioners having take-home cars. I have always tried to lead by example, while making sure taxpayers know the truth about their county government. I have fought against budgets that have doubled the county’s deficit while cutting its reserves in half, and voted against no-bid outsourcing contracts, lobbyists, executive level staff positions and personnel moves that have wasted hundreds of thousands of our residents’ hard-earned dollars.
“Government operates at its best when it is open and accountable, and when those who are elected to lead it are direct with the people who pay the bills – the taxpayers. I pledged when I took office to be straight with residents, make county government open and accessible, and to never play political games with the important work we do. I have lived up to that pledge, and restate it again.”
Commissioner Kopas was elected to his first full-term in office in 2011 following his unanimous bi-partisan appointment by the county’s judges in 2010.
Commissioner Kopas serves on the Boards of Directors for the Human Services Committee of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, the Westmoreland Land Trust (an organization he helped found), the Westmoreland Conservation District and Westmoreland Community Action. Recently, Ted served on Governor Tom Wolf’s transition team to develop drug and alcohol policy and priorities.
Ted’s volunteer activities include helping families who have members with developmental disabilities, and increasing awareness and acceptance of people with special needs. He is actively involved in organizations that help support and teach children and adults with special needs, including Friends of Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children and Southwest Greensburg Adaptive Baseball. He also serves as a volunteer coach for both Youngwood Recreation and Hempfield Recreation.
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, Alex, Quinn, Jack and Teddy.
For more information, visit www.tedkopas.com
# # #