According to the Allegheny County Office of Elections unofficial candidate list, incumbent Mayor Pauline Calabrese faces challenges from Vice Mayor Frank Pecora and Qiana Buckner in the Democratic primary for Penn Hill mayor.
No Republican candidates are pursuing their party’s nomination.
Here are the candidates and their answers to the poll questions asked by Penn Hills Progress.
Why did you decide to stand for election? I announced my candidacy for several reasons, but the most important is change. I am running because I believe in the success of our community and it starts with us. We can create real change when we come together while respecting our differences. We need to impact the community of Penn Hills with a greater capacity and advocate not only for change but also for solutions. We have put politics ahead of the needs of the people in the community for so long, and now is the time to create safe spaces for officials, community leaders, and most importantly, residents to work together to create monumental change that will impact future generations.
What is the biggest problem that needs to be solved? Government accountability and transparency.
Why should people vote for you? I have long been an advocate for our community and a strong leader who loves to serve people. I am excited about TEAM work and walking together with our residents and other leaders because by working together we will each achieve more. As the next mayor, I would like to create safe spaces for our youth and young adults. I would like to use my position to support current businesses and bring more small businesses into our area. I will invest in public infrastructure; invest in our parks and public services and sidewalks where needed. I want to support our public safety officials and build strong community relationships. I want to support the city council in building an agenda that helps everyone. Finally, we can’t do any of this without me helping to create public accountability and transparency. I want to build relationships and create partnerships that bring in resources that help make our community stronger.
Why did you decide to stand for election? Years ago, my husband and I had coffee and discussed how sad it was to see Penn Hills in a downward spiral. We wondered, “What are they going to do about it?” Then we said, “What are we going to do about it?” So we rolled up our sleeves and mingled.
What is the biggest problem that needs to be solved? Divestment – I’ve been on it since day one. I work with government officials at all levels of government, law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based leaders. I have launched a marketing campaign to improve public relations to attract businesses, developers and new residents. I am in the business of improving the quality of life for everyone.
Why should people vote for you? I am completing goals: Tripled the fund balance to $10 million, balanced the budget – no tax increases or service cuts, raised our SP Rating, improved public safety – added 15 police officers, new vehicles, modernized police and EMS equipment, increased funding for fire services and upgraded infrastructure.
Why did you decide to stand for election? I decided to run for mayor at the behest of many residents who feel the need for drastic changes in the way local government operates. I agree that changes need to be made and feel that as mayor I can be the driving force behind such change.
What is the biggest problem that needs to be solved? Facilitate change by providing strong financial oversight and accountability, acquire federal, state and county funds for projects to reduce the burden of additional taxes and/or fees on local taxpayers, improve public safety, promote economic growth/development by encouraging to public/private partnerships, improving transparency in local government and fostering community relations.
Why should people vote for you? I am a lifelong resident and will serve the full four year term. I have no other political aspirations, other than to improve the quality of life for our residents. I will be available to all residents of Penn Hills and address their concerns promptly.
Jack Troy is a contributing writer for the Tribune-Review.