May 4—Editor's note: South Hills Record is only spotlighting contested races in the primary election. Other race previews will run in future issues.
According to the Allegheny County Office of Elections unofficial candidate list, five Democrats are vying for four spots on the November ballot — E. John Egger, Raymond "Butch" Dee, incumbent Marianne Conley, Erin Brown and Michael Steimasczyk. Republican Rebecca Conley is running unopposed in the primary.
Here are the nominees and their responses to the election questions posed by South Hills Record.
Why did you decide to run for election? I believe Baldwin is a great community to live in and I can help keep it that way and help to make it better.
What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? The lack of community events is a big issue. I would love for families to have more things to do together in the community. I know the timing is bad with covid, but once things get more normal, hopefully, we can have bigger community events. For example, food truck events, movie nights at parks or the pool, upgrade the parks, get the fire departments, EMS and local businesses involved with events and the community.
What should voters know about you? I am a registered nurse, mother of four and I have lived in Baldwin-Whitehall my whole life (with the exception of college). I am outgoing, hard-working and dedicated to people and things I love. I have volunteered for many events in the community and school district. I hope to help keep Baldwin a family-friendly community and continue to make improvements.
Why did you decide to run for election? I want to continue the positive progress the borough has made over the last four years and to move forward on some issues that had been stymied by the pandemic — such as Community Day, repairing and re-opening the pool — but also maintaining our aggressive road resurfacing program.
What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? The federal stormwater management mandate and funding our volunteer fire companies. Since there are no federal funds to subsidize this mandate, it has forced council to be creative in funding the millions of dollars needed to meet the mandate. Also, this past year, our fire companies were unable to do any fundraising during the pandemic and needed increased financial assistance from the borough to maintain operations and provide services to the Baldwin Borough community.
What should voters know about you? My husband John and I have lived in Baldwin since 1975. We have three children, all graduates of Baldwin High School. I'm an avid gardener. I really love this community and enjoy serving on council.
Why did you decide to run for election? I've always been active in the community. I'm a 44-year member of South Baldwin Volunteer Fire Company, having served as fire chief for 20 years and am currently serving as president. I've coached baseball in The Greater Baldwin Whitehall Athletic Association and football in the Baldwin Whitehall Youth Football Association. I served as president of the Baldwin Hockey Association. I would like to serve the residents of Baldwin as a councilman to work with other borough leaders to assure Baldwin Borough continues to be a great place to live, raise a family and work.
What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? I believe that the current leadership in Baldwin examines all issues and tends to them in a manner that is good for the residents of Baldwin Borough. If elected, I will work to gain an understanding of the inner workings of Baldwin and address issues in a manner that best represents the residents of Baldwin Borough. I will work to provide the best services possible while maintaining financial responsibility.
What should voters know about you? I am a lifelong dedicated resident of Baldwin Borough. My wife Patty and I have been married 33 years and raised our three kids in Baldwin. If I am elected, I will listen to residents to gain an understanding of their needs and I will work hard to serve them.
E. John Egger
Why did you decide to run for election? To build a better Baldwin.
What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? Helping our volunteer Fire companies raise money without raising taxes.
What should voters know about you? I'm a full-time real estate agent, so by keeping our properties up, so will our quality of life in our community.
Why did you decide to run for election? This is not my first time running for local office. I served one four-year term on the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board and was elected to three consecutive four-year terms on Baldwin Borough council from 2008 to 2019. I was also selected by my peers on council to serve as president several times. I had not intended to run again when I left council at the end of 2019, however, I am running again to restore professionalism and transparency to our local government. My past experience on council would be an asset to the community. I make no snap decisions. When I was on council in the past, I always investigated both sides of an issue. In that way, when it came time for a decision, my vote was always fact-based. I pledge to continue to work hard to make certain that my decisions are in the best interest of the majority of the community.
What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed? We live in an older community and because of that, infrastructure repair and replacement is the biggest issue we face. We need to address flooding that occurs in several areas after heavy rains. The stormwater lines in these neighborhoods were never designed for the number of homes that now exist, so these old lines need to be increased in size and perhaps stormwater retention tanks may have to be installed. All of that is very expensive, which is one of the reasons the borough is now taxing every residence and business a Storm-Water Fee ($8 per month for residents). However, there has been no explanation to borough residents regarding specific storm sewer projects this new tax will fund and when these projects will take place. I also believe that credits against the Storm-Water Fee should be given to residents who make use of water retention devices like rain barrels that keep water from going into the borough storm sewer system. Likewise, residents with large, grassed or wooded properties should be given credits since large properties act as "green spaces" and prevent or reduce water flow to the borough system. Lastly, residents and business owners were not informed by council that if they pay their Storm-Water Fee (Tax) up-front for the year, they will get a 5 percent discount on the amount due to the borough. I pledge to get this corrected if I am elected to council.
What should voters know about you? My first priority will always be to place Baldwin Borough, our residents and our local businesses first. I'm a graduate of Baldwin Senior High School and Penn Technical Institute with a degree in electronics engineering. I've been a resident of Baldwin Borough for over 60 years. I have been married to my wife, Lorraine, for 37 years. I'm a past recipient of South Hills Record Public Official of the Year award.
As council president, it was at my suggestion that the Leland Center Building was offered to the Baldwin Borough Library Association. With council's support, this recommendation was adopted and today we have a state-of-the-art library centrally located in the borough.
Katie Green is a Tribune-Review news editor. You can contact Katie at email@example.com.