The signs have blanketed highways for months and our mailboxes are overflowing with political mailers. As this primary election season draws to a close all that is left is to do is vote. Here’s why I am asking for your vote to remain your County Commissioner:
Because I have always told it like it is, whether it’s good, bad or ugly. Too many people in elected office hide behind buzz words and slogans. I refuse to. I have always been direct with you, and I pledge to always be.
Because I believe county government can have a positive impact on our communities and in our lives. That’s why I pushed to create the Land Bank that is cleaning up blight in our neighborhoods. That’s why I was relentless in creating our new Drug Court. County government can, and should, be responsive, adaptive and creative.
Because I have kept my eye, too, on the bottom line and your money. That’s why I have voted against the past four budgets that have doubled the county’s deficit and cut our reserves in half.
Because I am the only candidate endorsed by those entrusted to teach our children (PSEA), those who keep us safe (Fraternal Order of Police), and those who build our communities (Westmoreland Labor Council, Pittsburgh Building Trades).
Because I have focused on making sure Westmoreland County is a good place to work, acquire the skills needed to get a good-paying job or grow your business. Today our industrial parks are home to more than 9,000 jobs. In my next term we will build a new industrial park in Sewickley Township and finish the redevelopment of a brownfield in Derry Borough.
Because when I first took office in 2010, the Arnold Palmer Airport had zero commercial passengers flying out of it, and the former SONY facility was abandoned. This year, 300,000 passengers will travel from our airport and the now-RIDC Westmoreland facility is home to more than 500 jobs and the Westmoreland County Community College’s Advanced Technology Center. Targeted county investments five years ago are paying off now!
Because I have led by example, voluntarily cutting back my own personal staff and never accepting any perks of the office, like mileage reimbursement. I will never ask a worker to make a sacrifice I’m not willing to make myself.
Because I know we can do better. I have fought tirelessly against personnel decisions for political reasons that have cost you dearly and contracts to privatize core government functions that cost you double what they used to. I have stood for you against wasteful spending like expensive lobbyists who are being paid to do the jobs Commissioners should do, and I’ve tried to stop my commissioner colleagues from creating executive level six-figure staff positions.
Because our residents deserve quality service. The dozens of families I know who have members with special needs are counting on county government to help them. Seniors struggling to stay in their homes need us. People struggling to overcome addiction need our assistance.
Because despite the title of County Commissioner, and the standing that sometimes comes with it, I have not forgotten who I am or what I stand for. I am still just a middle class guy from the little village of Westmoreland City who has a bunch of kids to keep me humble. Being County Commissioner is not a steppingstone to higher office or a means to advance my private business interests. I’m in it for you. Because what we do matters. It’s immensely important. And you have my continued commitment to always stand for what’s right for you, to lead by example and to make Westmoreland County the best it can be.