The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

September 14, 2013

Dem running to oust Corbett visits

SHARON — Ed Pawlowski bought breakfast for local Democrats after telling them why he deserves their backing in his bid to be governor.

The Allentown mayor started his day of campaigning Friday at Donna’s Diner in downtown Sharon.

Pawlowski began with jobs and talked his way through a list of issues that included public education, crumbling roads and bridges and ways he has raised revenues, cut debt, and reduced costs without raising property taxes in nine years.

Pawlowski never mentioned Gov. Tom Corbett by name, instead aiming his criticisms at Republicans he said have failed to solve Pennsylvania’s problems despite holding majorities in the House and Senate.

“They’ve taken us from seventh in job growth to 49th among the states,” he said. “We’re only ahead of Wyoming.”

He said Allentown, the state’s third-largest city, has attracted $1 billion in business investment during his tenure and benefited from 4,000 new jobs.

Pawlowski said economic development has lagged even as Republicans have failed to agree on how to pay for rebuilding Pennsylvania’s crumbling infrastructure.

“Mercer County  is the gateway to Pennsylvania on Interstate 80,” he said. “There’s no way it shouldn’t be a place to create new jobs.”

Pawlowski said 5,000 tons of steel being used to help rebuild his city was made in Erie. Concrete used for new construction in Allentown was made in nearby Berks County.

“We need to be aggressive in economic development,” he said. “If it means trying to steal jobs from neighboring states, I have no problem with that because they’re stealing ours. And what is the Republicans’ answer? They say they will send money for job retraining. That’s not good enough.”

Pawlowski said he led the way for Allentown to solve its $160 million underfunding of pensions by leasing its water and sewer system for 50 years to the Lehigh County Authority for $220 million. Proceeds from the deal, which preserved employees’ jobs and wages, paid off some city debt and cut its yearly pension obligation from $18 million to $3 million while also reducing the annual 5 percent increase in sewer and water rates to 3.75 percent, he said.

Pointing to Corbett’s failed effort to sell the state’s liquor stores, Pawlowski said leasing would be a better alternative.

“We could leave the system as it is and nobody has to lose a job,” he said. “We could lease it for $2 billion to $4 billion and lease it again in 10 years.”

Lease proceeds would provide money that could be spent for economic development, schools, and roads and bridges.

So far, Corbett’s perceived re-election weakness has drawn eight Democrats who want to challenge him next year.

Pawlowski said none of them have his mix of experience.

“Four of them have never run for office before,” he said. “I’m the only mayor; I’m the only one to run a government.”

His message was good enough to win the support of some local elected officials although he is the first candidate for governor to appear here.

Gene Pacsi, a Farrell councilman, said he is endorsing Pawlowski.

So is Ed Palanski, an Independent serving on Sharon council.

“I like what he has done,” Palanski said. “Knowing the kind of problems Allentown faced, I like what he has done to turn it around.”

Charles “Chaz” Rice, chairman of Mercer County Democratic Committee, said it’s too early for the local party chairman to make a choice among the field of candidates.

State Rep. Mark Longietti agreed. The 7th District representative who is also a member of the state Democratic Committee and president of its Northwest Pennsylvania Caucus of 15 counties, said the candidates for governor have been invited to a weekend meeting in Clairton with state legislators from the region.

The candidates will be trying to win support for the state party’s endorsement during its winter meeting, Longietti said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story

  • News briefs from July 19, 2014

    Michigan man charged with assaulting girl here

    Sharon man charged with raping woman

    July 19, 2014

  • For sale Realty transfer tax hike headed for ballot

    Sharon voters will be deciding through a referendum whether city council can raise the realty transfer tax. Council gave first reading Thursday to an ordinance that phrases the question that will be printed on the November ballot.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bella recovering Vet: Dog lucky to be alive, should survive

    Although a veterinarian said an underweight dog found Thursday with a gruesome neck wound was lucky to be alive, her prognosis for recovery is good.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Alleged hit-run driver arrested

    Sharon police said Friday afternoon they had arrested a man believed to have driven a vehicle that struck an 11-year-old boy Thursday and left the scene.

    July 19, 2014