NEW CASTLE Candidate announces run for mayor



The candidate wants to focus on business, the elderly and safe neighborhoods.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Wayne Alexander believes he can make a difference.
That's why the 49-year-old New Castle man has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for mayor of New Castle.
"I have a vision for New Castle. A vision that seeks to build upon the traditions and inherent strengths we possess as a community," he said.
Alexander, a retired program supervisor for the Youth Development Center in Shenango Township, said during his campaign announcement Tuesday that he intends to focus on downtown development, relief for senior citizens and safe neighborhoods.
Incumbent Mayor Timothy Fulkerson, also a Republican, could not be reached Tuesday for comment. Fulkerson has not publicly said if he will seek re-election.
Remarks made
Alexander said his decision to run for the Republican nomination for mayor is not directed at the current mayor, but remarks made by Lawrence County Republican Committee chairman Norman DeGidio did reflect some problems between the party and the mayor.
"Twelve years is too long for term of mayor, and we can't afford another four years with this present administration," DeGidio said while introducing Alexander.
DeGidio said after the press conference that he was unhappy with Fulkerson's endorsement of Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ed Rendell.
"We just don't like what's going on down there, but the main thing is he supported Rendell," DeGidio said.
DeGidio noted that the Republican party does not endorse anyone in the primary election, but he is personally supporting Alexander's candidacy.
Tax opposition
Alexander, a lifelong New Castle resident, said he is unhappy with the current administration's decision to take in an extra 5 percent in taxes this year. Because of countywide reassessment, the city is unable to raise real estate tax millage, but it can collect an extra 5 percent in taxes.
"I've always thought that deters business. I've been contacted by a few businesses that find it cumbersome to locate in the city because of taxes," Alexander said.
Alexander said he would rather freeze employee wages or reduce services before raising taxes.
He said he plans to visit neighborhoods and listen to residents' concerns over the next five months.

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