HUBBARD 4 city races offer choices for voters

Candidates tout their experience in primary races.
HUBBARD -- Voters will have choices to make in four city races during the May 8 Democrat primary election.
Incumbents are being challenged in races for treasurer, 1st and 2nd ward council and council-at-large.
Incumbent treasurer Marsha A. Ruha is seeking a second four-year term and is being challenged by Daniel P. Livingston, a former councilman who was chairman of council's finance committee.
Ruha points to her experience with 15 years in banking and 10 years in finance and her having brought integrity to the city position as why voters should give her the nod. She has been treasurer since 1997.
Livingston said he has gained experience as clerk-treasurer of Hubbard Union Cemetery and during his five years on council.
1st Ward: In the 1st Ward, incumbent Bonnie Viele, who chairs council's finance committee, is being challenged by Albert J. Patrick Sr., who served as the city's director of public safety for three years.
Viele draws attention to her strengths, which include experience in preparing budgets and being known among her colleagues for "doing my homework." She believes utility rate increases, annexation, a new police headquarters and rebuilding the city's infrastructure are major issues.
Patrick points to his honesty, dependability and fairness as qualifications. He said legislation dealing with adult book stores and entertainment is a major issue with him.
In the 3rd Ward, Lisha Pompili-Baumiller is challenging incumbent Robert R. DeJulio, who has served on council since 1988.
DeJulio wants to upgrade water and sewer lines and build another water storage tank. If elected, Pompili-Baumiller said, she wants to focus on the safety of children and senior citizens.
At-large race: In the council-at-large race, four candidates, including two incumbents, are seeking three seats. Councilman David Bolchalk decided not to seek re-election.
This leaves incumbents Douglas Rohrer and William J. Williams being challenged by James F. Palumbo and Ray Farcas.
Rohrer wants voters to look at his nine years of experience on council, his business education and organizational experience as strengths in dealing with deregulation of electrical rates, construction of a new police headquarters and maintaining services.
Williams said the major issue for him is to find the 20 percent to 30 percent loss of water in the city-operated system.
Farcas believes his serving on council from 1994 through 1999 and management experience provide the background for the post. He does admit there are no major issues in the race.
Palumbo, who has not held office, believes a city-operated ambulance service should be instituted to serve residents.
Problem with petitions: There is no contest in the primary race for the 4th Ward seat currently held by John LaCivita, who has been disqualified from running in the primary because the board of elections declared LaCivita's nominating petitions invalid.
The board made that ruling based on a protest filed by LaCivita's opponent, Richard D. Keenan, a former councilman. The primary reason for tossing LaCivita's petitions was that he didn't witness all of the signatures, the board has said.
Thus, Keenan will win the primary and probably face LaCivita in the general election as LaCivita said he will file as an independent candidate.
Incumbent John D. Darko is unchallenged for president of council, as is John Marshall for the 4th Ward seat. Council terms are two years.
No candidates have filed for auditor in the primary. Incumbent Michael Villano, a Democrat, ran as an independent candidate when he won four years ago and has decided to continue to run as an independent.

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