NEW CASTLE —
New Castle voters will elect three people to city council on Tuesday.
However, unlike most elections for council, this one has a different wrinkle.
Two people will be chosen for four-year terms and one will be elected to a two-year term.
Candidates for the four-year terms are Rosemary Henderson, a Republican, and Tim Fulkerson and Anthony Adamo, both Democrats.
Adamo also is running for the two-year term and is opposed by Republican William Schafer.
Fulkerson and Adamo beat out three other candidates for the party’s nomination for the four-year term, including council president MaryAnne Gavrile and Councilman Thomas Smith. Gavrile and Smith also were candidates for the two-year term.
Henderson and Schafer were the lone Republican candidates.
If Adamo is elected to both terms, he must select one of them. After Jan. 1, the four council members would then appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
The person filling the vacancy would serve for two years.
Attempts to reach Adamo for an interview were unsuccessful.
Henderson, 66, a regular visitor to council meetings, said she has sat “in the peanut gallery” for the last 13 to 14 years. “So, I thought I’d be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”
A member of the city’s Historical Architectural Review Board, Henderson said, “Since I’m a preservationist, I think I can do a better job of helping the historic district.”
Her attendance at council meetings over the years, she believes, gives her an advantage over those who don’t attend and will help her as a council member.
“I think I know pretty much the workings of the city.”
Henderson said she would like to work with the city’s code enforcement department and police chief and the county’s district attorney to clear the city of blight. A former housekeeper, Henderson said she is semi-retired and will have the time to do that.
She said she wants to work “along with the administration.” Although she has a good relationship with Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo, she said, she would not be a rubber stamp.
Henderson objects to council’s public comment policy, saying she believes taxpayers should have the opportunity to speak at the beginning and the end of meetings. Now, visitors have six minutes at the beginning.
“You’re there to serve the people and you should give the people their voice.”
She would like to see the zoning ordinance “have more teeth” for the North Hill historic district to stop “out-of-town landlords from coming in” and “flipping” houses.
“Our (historical) board has to have more say-so.”
Henderson said she has no agenda, adding, “I’m not there to give relatives jobs.”
Schafer, who served as Republican county chairman, said he is running as an independent — “on my own merits and my own values for the city.”
At 66, Schafer, is now a consultant for his construction firm and a minister.
A Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, Schafer served 10 years as chairman of the city’s personnel board. He said he is comfortable working with Republicans, Democrats and independents.
Two of his pet peeves are the poor condition of city streets and its sidewalks. Noting the condition of some streets, he said, “I feel like I’m in a war zone. It takes away a sense of pride (for residents) in their neighborhoods.”
He said he believes the street conditions would deter people from buying a home in those areas.
Schafer said he would like to see a sidewalk program initiated. Some cities, he said, have a matching program where the city and residents share in the cost. He said there may be grant money available for such a program.
Asked how he would be able to get such a program through as a councilman, he said the administration has the authority to write grants and obtain the necessary revenues while council has the power to initiate a program. He said he would work with the administration.
“I think we can bring some community pride; people will be apt to live here.”
“Our most valuable asset is our citizens,” he said, but the city has been losing people. That means there are fewer people to invest in the city and improve it.
“Somehow we’ve got to stop the bleeding.”
Schafer said he would go into the neighborhoods when an issue arises before council would vote on it.
“How can you vote on an issue when you haven’t inspected it?”
Fulkerson, 62, who served two terms as mayor, dismissed the notion that he would be looking over Mastrangelo’s shoulder.
“My job is not to be an obstacle to Tony,” he said, “but to work with Tony to move this city forward.”
A sales consultant for a supplier of paper products, Fulkerson said his main priority “is how can we create new housing in the city?”
He calls his proposal “one house at a time” in which whole blocks of dilapidated housing would be removed and new housing would be constructed on bigger lots, comparable to those in neighboring townships.
“There’s money from the state to do this,” he said.
Housing rehabilitation also needs to be a part of revitalizing neighborhoods, he said.
Noting the decline in the city’s population, Fulkerson envisions teachers and public employees moving into these areas, but they must be given an incentive such as tax abatements to do so. If these middle-income people who work in New Castle lived in the city, the city would realize more property and wage tax revenue.
He said he believes teachers and public employees who work in the city should be required to live in the city.
“Because that’s the only way we’re going to change this city. We have to start somewhere to build the future.”
Fulkerson, who worked for the state after his time as mayor, added, “These are ideas that have worked in communities in Pennsylvania and the United States.”
“Hopefully, I can get council and the mayor to put a plan together.”
Fulkerson also would like to see owners of commercial properties be given “more leeway” with zoning requirements in remodeling of buildings.
“We get these buildings filled and they pay taxes.”
As for his personal goals, Fulkerson said being on council “is not a launching point” to run for mayor.
However, he added, he could consider running if he sees someone isn’t “leading the city to where it needs to be led.”
NEW CASTLE —
New Castle voters will elect three people to city council on Tuesday.
- TOP STORIES
No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter
It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.
Firefighters respond to gas leak
New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.
City residents register complaints about ATVs
Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.
Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death
The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.
Fire marshal probes cause of blaze
A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.
Pennsylvania won’t take action on quakes
Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.
Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season
Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season. Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout.
Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next
Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character. Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.
Levar Ware’s Story, Part 1: ’Canes’ senior finally found his way after enduring difficult living conditions in West Virginia
First of two parts: His infectious smile can light up a room, but five years ago, Levar Ware was living in darkness. Except for his mother, concerned educators and a local attorney, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior who helped New Castle High capture its first state basketball title last month might not even have been on the team.
Settlement reached in City Rescue Mission lawsuit
A lawsuit filed against the City Rescue Mission by a vision-impaired man has been settled. The case’s settlement was reported in a filing on the U.S. District Court docket Tuesday.
- More TOP STORIES Headlines
- No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter