The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 7, 2013

The voters have spoken | Kudos to candidates for pursuing civic duties

JOHNSTOWN — The ballots have been counted, and the winners and losers in Tuesday’s municipal elections have been sorted out.

There were some surprise outcomes, and other races went as expected.

In Johnstown, deputy mayor Frank Janakovic captured the official mayoral seat, easily outpacing a write-in campaign from Randy Gajewski. And City Council candidates Pete Vizza, Marie Mock, David Vitovich and Nunzio Johncola easily recaptured their seats, turning aside write-in campaigns from Rose Howarth, Joseph Taranto and Charlene Stanton.

We are a bit surprised that Stanton did not have a stronger showing, perhaps even pulling out an upset win. Judging by letters to The Tribune-Democrat’s Readers’ Forum, city residents are outraged at how much it will cost for them to connect into the mandated sewer project. Stanton’s campaign specifically targeted the costs associated with tap-in fees. “I want to be a voice for the people,” Stanton told our Dave Sutor last week. “With me, their concerns are going to be heard.”

Which basically is what Mock told Sutor on Tuesday: “People have a lot of concerns that they want to be fixed one way or another. We need to help them and we need to listen to them.”

Isn’t she hearing how upset many of them are regarding the tap-in fees? If she is sincere in providing help, and we believe she is, we hope councilmembers can put aside their petty squabbling and come up with a way to ease the burden on homeowners.

The school board race in Northern Cambria took on an air of politeness that has been lacking in the majority of elections and between candidates.

“We told people it doesn’t matter who you vote for, we’re all good,” candidate Delvin Lockard told our Kathy Mellott. “We had six good candidates, so we figured whatever happened, happened.”

In fact, Lockard was so laid-back about the elections that instead of standing in front of a polling place greeting and grinning, he went hunting.

We wish more elections were like that.

Voters in Westmont chose four members of CEASE, Cost Effective Approaches Supporting Education, to seats on the school board. The newcomers to the list of school directors are Lisa Drennen, John DeMarco Jr., Darin J. Marley and Jeffrey P. Masterson.

In Richland Township, longtime supervisor Jay T. Marsden suffered a crushing defeat, coming in third in a race for two open seats. He lost to incumbent Gary Paul and political first-timer Keith Saylor.

Geistown resident William Schrader Jr. was a double winner, placing first for a council seat and edging out incumbent Mayor Donald P. Scott for the mayor’s seat. Schrader said he is leaning toward the council position because it carries more weight as far as guiding the borough.

Two Cambria County judges won their retention bids. President Judge Timothy Creany and Judge Norman A. Krumenacker each will return to their benches for 10 more years. And District Judges Michael Musulin and Mary Ann Zanghi easily retained their seats, although both were unopposed. And longtime Cambria County Sheriff Robert Kolar will again head the county’s police force after voters sent him back to his post for a fifth term.

We congratulate all the winners and console all the losers, and we would hope that they all honor their campaign promises to their constituents.

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