The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Politics

February 1, 2008

CPA the second Democrat to make a bid in 71st race

As a certified public accountant, William D. Stasko says he is all too familiar with governmental obstacles hindering residents and small businesses.

Now, the Westmont resident hopes to go to Harrisburg and make some changes.

Stasko on Monday announced his candidacy for the state House 71st District. He made his decision after state Rep. Ed Wojnaroski, the Democrat who holds that seat, announced that he would retire at year’s end.

“This is a great opportunity,” he said.

He is the second Democrat to throw his hat into the ring in the 71st. Tom Chernisky of Geistown entered the race last month.

No Republican candidate has stepped forward.

Stasko, 48, said he is a lifelong resident of the Johnstown area and served on Westmont Borough Council in the 1990s. His late father, William, was a 12-year Johnstown city councilman.

Stasko has been a CPA since 1986 and has an office in Lower Yoder Township.

“I deal with tax issues every day of the week in my practice,” he said. “The state has a lot of roadblocks out there that businesses face.”

Among the regulations ripe for reform are unemployment–compensation laws and workers’ compensation insurance, he said.

Stasko also is interested in a variety of other issues:

n Strengthening landlord rights.

n Changing construction-code rules that he says are too restrictive and expensive.

n Generating more state assistance for volunteer fire departments, which struggle with manpower and funding problems.

While Stasko has limited political experience, he contends his CPA work has given him an understanding of the way state governmental agencies work.

“I can help the constituents get through these issues,” he said.

And Stasko cites managerial experience he gained as controller for Glosser Bros. Inc. from 1984-92. Stasko said he worked with a staff of 100 and dealt with the company’s numerous grocery and department stores.

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