Two from West Pittston seek GOP nod for county council

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Eric Mark, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
·2 min read
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Apr. 12—Two former West Pittston borough councilman are running together as they seek the Republican nomination for Luzerne County Council in the May 18 primary.

Kevin Lescavage and Brian Thornton say they want to ensure fair elections, rein in property taxes and review the county charter for conflicts with state law.

Both men live in West Pittston and are making their first run for county council. Five council seats will be on the ballot for the primary.

The 11-member council serves as the legislative branch of county government. Council members are elected to four-year terms and are paid $8,000 per year.

Lescavage

Lescavage, 56, works as a sales representative for Reading Anthracite Coal Company, a job he has held for 37 years.

He said his seven years of service on borough council would help him work through the county budget process.

Lescavage said his top priority is controlling property taxes.

"Something has to happen with the property tax," he said.

Council members need to work with state officials to find revenue solutions that do not include tax increases, Lescavage said.

He also said he is studying the county charter and is worried about the number of potential conflicts with state law. That issue arose recently in cases involving the county board of elections and the district attorney's office.

"There is some contradiction that has to be clarified," Lescavage said.

Thornton

Thornton, 61, a financial planner, said he did not intend to get back into politics after leaving borough council.

However, several issues that arose over the past year convinced him it was time to run for county council, he said.

Chief among them was an incident at the county bureau of elections last September that made national news, when a temporary worker opened and discarded military ballots.

"The county kind of got tarnished," Thornton said. "There were all kinds of alleged issues with the election. To me, election integrity is the most important issue."

Thornton said he wants to put his experience at financial planning to good use for the county. He said he would gather budgets from neighboring counties to compare them with Luzerne County's budget and identify potential savings.

He also said the county charter needs to be reviewed and probably amended.

"The charter clearly has some issues the way it is written," Thornton said.

The other Republicans running for council in the primary are incumbent Chris Perry, Ronald Knapp, John Lombardo, Michael G. Vacendak, Gregory S. Wolovich Jr., Carl G. Bienias III and Martin L. Dartoe.

Contact the writer:

emark@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2117