Former IBM worker, College Professor To Run For Wilkes-Barre Mayor

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Brian Kelly said he wants to get Wilkes-Barre back on the right track, and that’s why he is running for mayor in 2015.

Kelly, 66, announced his candidacy Friday and said he is running as a “JFK Democrat.” He said the city suffers from “malaise,” as evidenced by the demolition of the Hotel Sterling and the continued non-functioning fountain on Public Square.

Interest in the mayoral post has been high, considering the primaries are not until next spring. Councilman Tony George has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination next year and Democratic Councilman George Brown is said to be pondering a run.

Incumbent three-term Democratic incumbent Mayor Tom Leighton said Friday he will not decide whether to run again until February. Leighton also declined to respond to criticism Kelly made of city operations.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50686313/

Nanticoke Selects A New City Manager

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NANTICOKE, PA — Jay Zupa on Wednesday night became Nanticoke’s new city manager by appointment of Mayor Richard Wiaterowski approved by City Council at an annual salary of $55,000.

He will take over for acting City Manager Donna Wall. The previous city manager was Pamela Heard, who reportedly was paid more than $68,000 a year.

As per home rule charter, Zupa will have one year to become a resident of the city.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1238662/Nanticoke-selects-a-new-city-manager

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Easton Police Dominate 2013 List Of Highest-Paid City Employees

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette ...

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eight of the 10 highest-paid Easton city employees last year work for the police department.

Much of their pay came through overtime, although the mayor said the city is doing much better with overtime budgeting.

Sgt. Sal Cucciuffo topped the list for the second year in a row, making $117,524 and topping his 2012 earnings by a little more than $6,800.

The city’s overtime fund has dropped significantly from $460,000 in 2008, down to $260,000 in 2013, Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said. Panto said the city came in under budget on overtime costs in 2013.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/03/third_party_soruces_help_with.html

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New Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez Takes Office

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bethlehem’s first new mayor in a decade took office this morning at a swearing-in ceremony in Town Hall.

Mayor Robert J. Donchez won election last November, following a hard-fought primary win against city Councilman J. William Reynolds.

Donchez had been a city councilman, first elected in 1995. Council has 16 candidates to choose from to appoint a successor to Donchez’s now-vacant seat. Applicant interviews are scheduled Jan. 27, with the appointment to be made at a special meeting Jan. 30.

Donchez, 63, succeeds former Mayor John Callahan, who was first elected to a mid-term seat as mayor in 2003.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/01/bethlehem_mayor_robert_donchez.html

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New Pittsburgh Government Set To Launch As Peduto Has Laid Out Some Lofty Goals

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Saturday, incoming Mayor Bill Peduto began his move into the mayoral wing on the fifth floor of the City-County Building in advance of today’s inauguration, when he will officially take the reins of city government.

The Rev. Terry O’Connor, son of the late Mayor Bob O’Connor and brother to Councilman Corey O’Connor, blessed the space with a sprinkling of holy water. The floors were mopped.

For a man who has pledged to “clean up city hall” and who gave his victory speech while clutching a broom, it was an apropos entrance.

Mr. Peduto has expounded on that theme for more than a year, calling the administration of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl corrupt and saying that the city needs to move away from the old-style politics if it wants to progress. And if he holds to his campaign pledges, he will represent a monumental shift in both style and substance in the mayor’s office.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/01/06/New-Pittsburgh-government-set-to-launch-as-Peduto-has-laid-out-some-lofty-goals/stories/2014010601030000000#ixzz2pdpIux3L

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Outgoing Harrisburg Mayor, Linda Thompson, Lands On Time Magazine’s 2013 Mayors’ Gaffe List

Editor’s note:  Ms. Thompson landed in the number two spot.  A rather infamous list of mayoral faux pas from around the globe.  Way to go LT for putting Harrisburg in the international spotlight.

The Year in Mayors’ Gaffes

A road to political purgatory, from bad to worst

Read more: The Year in Mayors’ Gaffes | TIME.com http://poy.time.com/2013/12/10/the-year-in-mayors-gaffes/#ixzz2nhSvTjn9

Marcus Hook Mayor Convicted Of Charges Related To Drunken Encounter

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MARCUS HOOK Mayor James “Jay” Schiliro won’t be lighting up a victory cigar anytime soon.

Schiliro, 39, was convicted in Delaware County Common Pleas Court yesterday on five charges in connection with a bizarre encounter that unfolded in his house Feb. 21.

A 20-year-old man, who had long known Schiliro and described him as a father figure, said he was summoned to the mayor’s house late that night for a chat.

Schiliro allegedly plied the man with wine and offered to perform oral sex on him, the Daily News reported earlier this year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20131117_Marcus_Hook_mayor_convicted_of_charges_related_to_drunken_encounter.html#XVsuZCrjqETR6sXT.99

Act 47 Cities Elect New Mayors Amid Changes

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG – New mayors have been elected in four large cities under Act 47 status just as lawmakers are giving greater attention to urban fiscal issues.

Election Day brought victories to Democrat Bill Courtright in Scranton, Democrat Bill Peduto in Pittsburgh, Democrat Eric Papenfuse in Harrisburg and Republican Matt Pacifico in Altoona.

The mayors-elect came to office by various routes and campaigned on issues specific to their cities, but once in office they will face common problems with a shrinking tax base, greater demand for municipal services and the skyrocketing cost of unfunded pension obligations for municipal employees.

It could help matters that new elected spokesmen for cities will be on the scene while state lawmakers consider a wave of legislation to help municipalities address financial problems.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/act-47-cities-elect-new-mayors-amid-changes-1.1582982

Democrat Peduto Sweeps Pittsburgh In Race To Become Next Mayor

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bill Peduto can stop pretending.

The Point Breeze Democrat cruised to victory in the Pittsburgh mayoral race, officially earning the “mayor-elect” title he sought twice before and then avoided during the five months since his convincing Democratic primary win.

Peduto won 84 percent of the vote on Tuesday with 96.8 percent of precincts reporting, walloping two challengers who barely put up a fight. His 35,000 votes topped the 28,600 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl won in the last mayor’s race, in 2009.

Read more: http://triblive.com/politics/politicalheadlines/4961621-74/peduto-mayor-race#ixzz2jvWF3Ioj 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Mayor Holds Line On Taxes, Raises His Own Salary In Proposed Budget

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA – Mayor Tom Leighton proposed a $42.7 million 2014 budget Friday without any tax or fee hikes, a raise for himself and funding to hire additional police officers.

“My goal is to hire at least 10 new officers in 2014, but we will closely monitor the strength of city finances to hire as many officers as the general fund can afford,” Leighton said during his budget presentation at city hall.

Unionized city employees will receive a 3 percent raise. Leighton’s salary also will increase 3 percent for 2014 to $82,309.

Leighton, who is serving in his third term as mayor, said he has not taken a raise for the last seven years amid financial woes

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/mayor-holds-line-on-taxes-raises-his-own-salary-in-proposed-budget-1.1567278

Ravenstahl Releases Proposed $479 Million Budget For Pittsburgh For 2014

English: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) meets with P...

English: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) meets with Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl posted a proposed 2014 operating budget and five-year plan to the city website this morning in advance of a budget presentation his staff will give to an oversight board.

Councilman Bill Peduto, the Democratic nominee for mayor and the favorite to take the city’s top job in January, submitted his own budget to the administration a few weeks ago. He suggested the creation of several new positions that were included in Mr. Ravenstahl’s budget proposal, but categorized “as needed.” The positions are a part of an overhaul of the mayor’s office and other city departments.

“We need a strong structure to see reform happen,” Mr. Peduto said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/ravenstahl-releases-proposed-479-budget-for-pittsburgh-for-2013-704679/#ixzz2fqbtEUBf

Timeline Of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Scandal

English: US Rep. Bob Filner

English: US Rep. Bob Filner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Key dates in the sexual harassment scandal of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner:

Nov. 6, 2012: Filner, a 10-term congressman, is elected mayor.  He is the first Democrat in 20 years to lead the nation’s eighth-largest city.

Dec. 3, 2012: Filner takes office.

June 20, 2013: Filner communications director Irene McCormack Jackson confronts Filner at staff meeting about unwanted sexual advances.  Allen Jones, Filner’s deputy chief of staff, quits.

July 8: Filner’s fiancee, Bronwyn Ingram, says she ended engagement, later says the mayor sent sexually explicit messages to other women and set up dates in her presence.

Read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/aug/23/timeline-of-san-diego-mayor-bob-filner-scandal/

Macungie Mayor Resigns, Moves Out Of Town

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Controversial Macungie Mayor Rick Hoffman has officially resigned from his seat and has left the borough, weeks after announcing that he was moving out of town.

Hoffman, 59, who was scheduled to close this week on the sale of his house at 61 S. Sycamore St., submitted his resignation Friday.  Police Chief Edward Harry Jr. said Hoffman, who was at odds with the police force for much of his three-plus year sin office, has left the borough.

Borough Council is expected to accept the resignation at its Monday night meeting.

“Obviously, we are going to miss his oversight and his tutelage between now and the time a new mayor is appointed,” Harry said with a chuckle.  “We’ll try to do the best we can without having his guidance.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/eastpenn/mc-macungie-mayor-hoffman-resignation-20130628,0,6183250.story#ixzz2XcjNewZp 
Follow us: @mcall on Twitter | mcall.lv on Facebook

Search For New West Reading Police Chief Continues

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The search for a new West Reading police chief continues, with borough officials confirming Tuesday that they’re reviewing applicants to fill the position left open by former Chief Edward C. Fabriziani’s move back to patrolman.

“We’re moving forward,” Council President Kevin M. Conrad said of the hiring process, which he refused to put a timeline on.

Borough Manager Richard J. Sichler declined to say how many resumes had been received.

However, when reached after the meeting, Sgt. Keith Phillips, acting police chief, said that he had interviewed for the chief’s position.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=485593

Will A New Face In The Mayor’s Office Improve Harrisburg’s Image?

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: YES!  We would like to see Eric Papenfuse win the November election.  It’s time to restore someone with business acumen to the office of the mayor in Harrisburg.  Eric is an excellent businessman and has been a leader in helping to revitalize Midtown Harrisburg.  Eric’s bookstore, Midtown Scholar, is one of the anchors of the new Midtown.

When major financial news organizations send reporters to a city the size of Harrisburg to cover the election for mayor, it usually means things haven’t been going well.

That was evidenced Tuesday night, as a Reuters news dispatch described Mayor Linda Thompson‘s defeat in the Democratic primary. The story began, “The embattled mayor of Pennsylvania’s financially crippled capital of Harrisburg was ousted on Tuesday…”

Embattled.  Financially crippled.  Harrisburg.

No matter who wins in November, the city’s next mayor must repair Harrisburg’s badly damaged brand, and that could be one of the most formidable aspects of the job.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/05/harrisburg_mayor_thompson_pape.html#incart_m-rpt-2

SEC Case Against Harrisburg Falls Short For Exempting Finance Pros, Some Say

Seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commi...

Seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA – No one answered the phone or the door at former Mayor Steve Reed’s home Tuesday nearly 24 hours after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced a settlement with Pennsylvania’s capital city over fraud charges rooted in activity during his administration.

Some public finance and securities experts saw the settlement – dubbed “toothless” by one – as a warning to municipalities that consequences await them if investors are misled by false or incomplete financial statements from local governments.

Others, however, criticized SEC for failing to hold the city’s hired advisers to account.

“Reed ran the city, (current Mayor Linda) Thompson (is running) the city,” said Mark Schwartz, a former bond lawyer who previously represented Harrisburg City Council on its ultimately rejected bankruptcy petition. “There is a ‘buck stops there’ liability for (city leaders), but the people who do the work are bond lawyers.  These are bonds that never should have been issued.  Reed cannot issue bonds on his own.  Professionals were abysmal in terms of fulfilling their responsibilities to investors and they have gotten off scot-free.  They’ve made millions.”

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/05/fsec_case_against_harrisburg_l.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Pottstown Mayoral Candidate, Ross Belovich – A Breath Of Fresh Air On The Political Landscape

524075_4334345123561_600996846_nIt’s that time of the year when all good political candidates need to start their campaign for Mayor of Pottstown.  A relative newcomer to Pottstown, Ross Belovich has thrown his hat into the proverbial ring.

Ross is a 4th Ward resident and has lived in Pottstown for about two years.  He has watched and studied the machinations of Pottstown borough government and decided he could make a positive difference.

I sat down with Ross Sunday afternoon to talk about why he is running and what he could bring to the table as mayor.  We talked for about an hour and a half and I believe I have a good sense of where Ross is coming from.  I had read some of his comments on Facebook and was intrigued enough by them to want to speak with him face to face.

Ross’ two passions are classic cars and computers.  He told me he has always been political and an active voter.  He feels it is important to vote!  Ross is running on the Republican ticket for mayor.

Ross sees many positive things going on in Pottstown but he has also observed Pottstown is missing unity.  There is no common vision or goal to move Pottstown forward.  Factions are pulling in different directions instead of working together.

Ross sees the position of mayor as being an ambassador for Pottstown.  The mayor should be promoting the borough to anyone who will listen.  Ross thinks marketing is crucial and needs to be done continuously.

We talked about crime, blight and some of the “hot button” issues facing Pottstown.  Ross is a big proponent of technology.  He feels Pottstown should be using security cameras to help the police department.  Cameras are a crime deterrent as well as a valuable tool for solving crimes (by using the footage to catch people in the act or by linking them to a specific time and place).  There are many grants out there to pay for cameras.  He said if downtown businesses also used cameras they could be networked with any existing borough cameras to provide a wider coverage area.  (Cameras are used successfully in Reading and Lancaster)

We talked about the problem of people loitering on High Street and bothering customers who are downtown to shop, eat or attend an event at the Steel River Playhouse.  There needs to be more of a police presence downtown.  Having a few beat cops walking the street would give patrons a sense of security and discourage loitering and panhandling.

Ross has observed there is a perception problem with Pottstown.  Many people think Pottstown is unsafe and will not venture into town.  Ross understands this perception, while very real to some people, is inaccurate and he would like to work on changing it.  In order to do this Pottstown needs to fill up the empty storefronts downtown and make the downtown more inviting to consumers.  Also if blight is eradicated, property values will go up.  Higher property values will provide more revenue for the borough and school district.

Ross supports the growing arts community in Pottstown and feels trying to lure high-tech companies into the borough would be another revitalization tool.  Pottstown is built out and needs to reinvent what it has.  No big factories will be coming to Pottstown and employing thousands any time soon.  It’s time to look at other alternatives for putting Pottstown back to work.  More jobs, equals more revenue for the borough and school district.  Ross is also a proponent of returning passenger rail service to Pottstown.

Ross likes the Core Values recently adopted by the borough but would like to see accountability tied to those values.  There should be serious consequences if those values are not being espoused by borough employees and leadership.

Lastly, Ross would like to promote better communication between the borough and the residents of Pottstown.  He is looking forward to seeing the new Pottstown Borough website when it is finished and hopes it is more “user friendly”.

On a whimsical note, Ross feels having fun and giving residents something to smile about is very important.  He thinks it would be fun to bring International Talk Like A Pirate Day to Pottstown as a borough holiday – (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html).  Argh matey!

To learn more about Ross or ask him any questions that are on your mind, you can contact Ross at http://www.facebook.com/MayorofPottstown

Pottstown Borough Manager’s Salary Comparison With Other Pennsylvania Cities

Please look long and hard at the list below and ask yourself WTF is going on with the Pottstown Borough Manager’s salary.  Why are Pottstown taxpayers on the hook for this gigantic salary!  The mayors of the cities listed below are the executives running these communities, not baby kisser like Pottstown’s illustrious Missy Mayor.  Their jobs are comparable to a borough manager only they are running MUCH larger communities with MUCH larger staffs making MUCH less money????????????????  These are also elected officials and more accountable for their actions as opposed to someone hired by their BFF’s and placed in power.

SavePottstown! has also been addressing this ridiculous imbalance and the head-scratching choice of the new Borough Manager – see  http://savepottstown.com/lang/es/2013/02/overpaid/

Here’s the promised comparison list:

- Philadelphia, $174,438 (population 1,526,006)

- Pottstown, $120,000 (population 22,377)

- Pittsburgh, $96,511 (population 305,704)

- Allentown, $95,000 (population 118,032)

- Bethlehem, $90,500 (population 74,982)

- Harrisburg, $80,000 (population 49,528)

- Easton, $80,000 (population 26,800)

- Wilkes-Barre, $79,911 (population 41,498)

- Erie, $65,000, going to $95,000 in 2014 (population 101,786)

- Scranton, $50,000, under review by City Council for an increase (population 76,089)

With the exception of the data on Pottstown and Pittsburgh, the salary figures came from the Scranton Times-Tribune.   Populations are 2010 United States Census results.  The Pittsburgh mayor’s salary is taken from an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Ed Koch, Mayor Who Became A Symbol Of New York City, Dies At 88

New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch during a me...

New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch during a meeting with US president Jimmy Carter in 1978 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK — Former Mayor Ed Koch, the combative, acid-tongued politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during a three-term City Hall run in which he embodied New York chutzpah for the rest of the world, died Friday.  He was 88.

Mr. Koch died at 2 a.m. at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia hospital, spokesman George Arzt said.  The funeral will be Monday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.

Mr. Koch was admitted to the hospital on Monday with shortness of breath, and was moved to intensive care on Thursday for closer monitoring of the fluid in his lungs and legs.  He had been released two days earlier after being treated for water in his lungs and legs.  He had initially been admitted on Jan. 19.

After leaving City Hall in January 1990, Mr. Koch battled assorted health problems and heart disease.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/us/ed-koch-mayor-who-became-a-symbol-of-new-york-city-dies-at-88-672972/#ixzz2Jfp1cqxz

Scranton Mayor Proposes Raising The Next Mayor’s Salary To $80,000

Editor’s note:  And the Borough Manager of Pottstown (population 22,377) rakes in $120,000.00 a year.  It would seem a raise is in order!  Make sure you read the rest of the article as they list mayor’s salaries for a number of cities in Pennsylvania.  NONE are any where near what Pottstown pays its Borough Manager.  Somebody’s getting WAY overpaid to run a small town.

Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty has proposed to city council that the next mayor who takes office in 2014 should earn a salary of $80,000, which would be $30,000 more than the $50,000 mayoral salary that has been in place over the past 22 years, he said.

Two council members said they agree that the pay of Scranton’s mayor should be increased because it is very low when compared to comparable midsize cities in the state, but they do not support a 60 percent pay hike of $30,000.

Council is expected today to consider introducing an ordinance to raise the mayor’s pay starting in 2014, Mr. Doherty said.

A new salary of $80,000 being proposed by Mr. Doherty, who earns $50,000 a year, would not be applicable to him, as he is not seeking re-election this year and his term ends in December.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-mayor-proposes-raising-the-next-mayor-s-salary-to-80-000-1.1437303