The Republican candidate seeking election to the state House seat in the 46th Legislative District has challenged his Democratic opponent to a series of five debates around the sprawling district.
"It's the first time in 26 years we're guaranteed a new legislator," GOP nominee Paul Snatchko said Wednesday of the district where State Rep. Victor Lescovitz is retiring. "Open-seat races don't come along every day in Washington County."
Thursday, August 31, 2006
From Today's O-R
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Press Release: Debate Challenge
Paul Snatchko for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
302 West Lincoln Ave., #4, McDonald, PA 15057 * (412) 608-8842
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2006
Contact: Tom Baker
Snatchko Issues Debate Challenge in 46th District Race
McDONALD -- McDonald Borough Councilman Paul Snatchko today challenged his opponent in the 46th District State House race to a series of five debates prior to Election Day on November 7.
In a letter both mailed and hand-delivered to the office of Jesse White, Snatchko Campaign Manager Tom Baker proposed the two campaigns jointly seek community organizations to sponsor the debates in Cecil Township (Washington County), Canton Township (Washington County), Burgettstown Borough (Washington County), Oakdale Borough (Allegheny County), and Hanover Township (Beaver County).
The letter requests that the White Campaign respond by Friday, Sept. 8.
“With the retirement of our incumbent legislator, 2006 marks the first time in 26 years that the 46th District is faced with an open-seat State House race. It is important to give the voters several opportunities to see the two candidates up close and ask them questions,” said Snatchko. “I am eager to address issues such as job creation, state government reform, school district property tax reform and how to strengthen our small towns, villages and family farms.”
Snatchko, 30, is a political and media consultant whose clients have included the Washington County Republican Party and judicial candidates in Allegheny and Washington counties. A 1998 graduate of New York University with a degree in journalism, he also has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a case investigator for the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Snatchko’s 2006 candidacy is his third for the 46th District seat. He ran strong grassroots campaigns against the district’s incumbent in both 2002 and 2004, gaining 45.5 percent and 47.1 percent of the vote respectively, despite facing a nearly 2-to-1 party registration disadvantage.
The 46th Legislative District includes the small towns and rural areas of northwestern and central Washington County, as well as parts of southern Allegheny and Beaver counties. In Washington County, the district includes Buffalo Township, Burgettstown Borough, Canton Township, Cecil Township, Chartiers Township, Cross Creek Township, Green Hills Borough, Hanover Township, Hopewell Township, Independence Township, Jefferson Township, McDonald Borough, Midway Borough, Mount Pleasant Township, Robinson Township, Smith Township, South Franklin Township and West Middletown Borough. The Allegheny County portion of the district includes McDonald Borough, Oakdale Borough and the 5th precinct of South Fayette Township. In Beaver County, the district includes Frankfort Springs Borough and Hanover Township.
For more information, or to interview the candidate, please call (412) 608-8842. A photo of Paul Snatchko in .jpg format is available for use by media outlets.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Back to School
So far, I've attended board meetings of six of the 10 school districts that educate students from the 46th District. Of the three municipalities that make up Canon-Mac, only Cecil Township lies in the 46th. The C-M schools in the township include Cecil Intermediate School, Cecil Elementary School, Muse Elementary School and Hills-Hendersonville Elementary School.
Monday evening's C-M board meeting focused on a proposed change to the repayment of the school district's bonds with PNC Bank -- admittedly not the most lively topic but an important one for the possible future funding of major school district projects. The school board members asked both big picture and small-detail questions of the PNC representatives.
Long story short -- if the next 25 years or so years bring economic growth, the proposed bond repayment swap could produce significant extra dollars for the school district. Historically, over that length of time, the economy does grow, said the PNC reps. The picture is not so rosy if the yield remains stagnant or declines for most of the next 25 years.
Bidder #508 at the Hookstown Fair
Beaver County does not have a single county fair -- instead it boasts two smaller fairs: the Hookstown Fair and the Big Knob Fair.
On Friday evening, Campaign Manager Tom Baker, Assistant Campaign Manager Andy Walz and I attended the Beaver County 4-H Stockman's Club 33rd Annual Livestock Show & Sale. I was bidder #508 (a scan of the placard is above). After purchasing a hog and a goat the previous week at the Washington County Fair, we decided to bid on lambs at the Hookstown Fair. I'm pleased to report I was the successful bidder on the Cross lamb of Justin Seibel, pictured at right, a 4-H member from the Burgettstown area. Justin's lamb weighed in at 116 pounds.
We donated Justin's lamb back to be reauctioned for the benefit of the group's scholarship fund. The lamb was purchased in that next round by my neighbor, Andy Steiminger of Third Street in McDonald. Andy is the owner of Buck Stove & Fireplace in Monaca.
THANK YOU to our team of Beaver County supporters who promoted my campaign all week at the GOP booth at the Hookstown Fair. This dedicated group included Betty Brodmerkel, John & Brenda Petkunas, Audrey Adrian, Donna Kozarovich and her family, Tammy Littel and her family, and South Side Area High School student Scott Crawford. Thanks, too, to Hanover Township Supervisor Dave Morgan for introducing me to some local voters Tuesday evening at the community tent.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Scenes from the Fair
Flanked by yours truly and Campaign Manager Tom Baker are Theresa Maust and her mom, Lisa Maust. Lisa is one of our best organizers in Independence Township. Teresa, a member of the Avella High School Class of 2006, is now beginning her undergraduate studies at Thiel College.
Back row, from left to right, are recent Washington & Jefferson College graduate Stuart Keckler; Ernie McCullough of South Franklin Township; my sister, Amanda Snatchko; yours truly; and Assistant Campaign Manager Andy Walz. In front are Bob Melnyk (a one-time Burgettstown resident) and Amanda's friend, Joe. On Tuesday afternoon, in addition to their help at the fair, Amanda and Joe joined us for a few hours of door-to-door outreach. Next week, Amanda begins her senior year at my alma mater, New York University, where she is studying special education/elementary education.
Andy Walz, Meryl Hatton & Tom Baker
On Friday afternoon, I joined Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews while he greeted fairgoers. Jim is running for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor. (Viewers of the Pennsylvania Cable Network may have seen some coverage of Jim's visit that aired on Monday.)
In this photo, I am filling out the voter registration form for Fair Queen Megan Weinstock of South Franklin Township. At left if Fair Princess Catherine Clemons, also of South Franklin.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Thank You to our Fair Team!
THANKS, too, to Campaign Manager Tom Baker and Assistant Campaign Manager Andy Walz for all of the organizational effort and staffing hours they put into making our participation in the fair a success. (Thanks to Andy for opening up the booth each morning!) An additional thank-you goes out to Phil and Betty Camden who provided the computer on which we showed our photo presentation at the booth.
Fair week will be remembered as one of our favorite parts of the campaign -- it was energizing to meet each day with the fair guests and all of the other daily participants. As as a candidate seeking office in a largely rural area, the fair provided me with the opportunity to meet many voters who I otherwise might not have the chance to speak with one-on-one.
At our booth, we also were proud to register many new voters. Among those we registered was Fair Queen Megan Weinstock of South Franklin Township. Thank you to Megan for getting registered! (The photo of Megan at right was taken by Craig Howell of the PA Focus. Pictured with Megan is Fair Princess Catherine Clemons. Catherine is also a new voter in South Franklin Township!)
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Raised in Canton Township
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Cobi the Goat
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The Rock in Oakdale
The Rock is a program of Oakdale United Presbyterian Church. The congregation of Oakdale U.P. merged with that of Good Shepherd Presbyterian after Good Shepherd was heavily damaged by the September, 2004, flood caused by the remnant of Hurricane Ivan. The day after the 2004 flood, I toured Good Shepherd and other parts of Oakdale's business district. The memory of the church's water-logged carpets and damaged hymnals and pews will stay with me for many years to come.
But Good Shepherd has been transformed in the almost two years since the waters subsided. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, its sanctuary is almost ready to become a basketball court. An area off the sanctuary will have ping-pong tables and the like. The building's upper rooms have been repainted and refurbished and will soon be a computer lab, cafe and small library for the use of local young people.
The dedicated team behind The Rock will be seeking federal, state and private grant monies to help fund some of their programs. Local individuals also can contribute to turn this local landmark into a new community resource! Interested donors (and potential new volunteers) should call (724) 693-8950 for details on how to give.
An aside: The Rock in Oakdale would be the second youth center with this name in the 46th District. There's also "The Rock Youth Center" on Pike Street in Chartiers Township. It's a ministry of Central Assembly of God Church.
A City Boy reflects on his first Washington County Fair experience
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The headwaters of the Robinson Run Creek are in Smith Township near the Borough of Midway and in the Village of Primrose that straddles the border of Mt. Pleasant Township and Robinson Township (Washington County). In the early part of the 1900s, the area was heavily mined for coal -- and the present-day orange-ish waters flowing in the creek bear witness to that legacy.
It's an area I know well -- many of my childhood and teenage years were spent growing up in Primrose. Staying out of "the crick" was a common admonition from my mother, who still lives there today. Her long backyard ends at the creek and she's cautious to keep her dogs out of it.
Robinson Run Creek travels from Primrose east through the Borough of McDonald, through the Village of Sturgeon (it's the border between North Fayette and South Fayette townships), enters the Borough of Oakdale and then travels into Collier Township where, just west of Carnegie, it flows into Chartiers Creek. Chartiers Creek flows to the Ohio River.
After this study is completed in the next year, the real work will begin for the Wanashee Conservancy -- finding the funding to remediate the sources of the acid mine drainage. Hopefully these monies will come from both government and private sources.
If elected to the PA House on November 7, I would be an active partner for projects like this in the 46th District and an advocate for them throughout Pennsylvania. No one should have an orange-ish creek in their backyard.
An aside: Monday's briefing was held at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute, located just west of Oakdale Borough. With each passing year, PTI becomes a stronger asset for our region!
Another aside: My great-great grandparents, Dominick Vincenti and Catherine Vicari Vincenti, immigrated to Primrose around the turn of the last century. Dominick worked in the coal mines near Primrose until he was killed in a mining accident in 1937. Dominick and Catherine's oldest son, Joe Vincenti, was my great-grandfather. Joe and his wife, Mary Berger Vincenti, spent decades operating a service station in Primrose a stone's throw from the Robinson Run Creek. The nucleus of the old service station building is now home to the Fort Cherry Ambulance Service.
Monday, August 14, 2006
The first is a reaction piece to the new Petrucci's IGA and McDonald's Restaurant in Burgettstown.
The second is her reporting on the July 31 non-advertised meeting that occurred at Quicksilver Golf Club between the Robinson Township Supervisors and others regarding the proposed waste-coal power plant.
Over at the PA Focus, Craig Howell has stories on the Petrucci's opening; the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Festival; the dedication of the Harry Collins Courts; and efforts to raise funds for the Burgettstown Teen Center. Amelia Soisson also has a report on the power plant hearing.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Canton has a varied landscape -- from old industrial sites to diverse residential neighborhoods to substantial agricultural areas. It's an area I've gotten to know well through my campaigns for the State House and, if elected, I would be proud to represent it.
A current issue for Canton is the introduction of new water lines and public sewers into some parts of the township. The supervisors discussed this at length on Thursday during a report from township's engineering firm, HMT & Associates. At issue was the possibility of installing public water lines on Armstrong Drive and a joint sewerage project for Route 18 between Canton and Chartiers Township.
The supervisors also announced the address for Canton's new Website: www.yourcanton.com.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Barbara Miller reports on the higher-than-expected costs to renovate the landmark administration building. (The drawing of the building at left is from the Southpointe CEO Association Website.)
John Richards has a report on Canonsburg Borough Council's desire for a new connecting road to be built between the borough and Southpointe II.
If I am elected to the PA House on November 7, I would take a keen interest in these issues. We owe it to the former residents of Western Center that this property be developed correctly -- with a focus on maximizing the benefit for the community-at-large. I believe the former Western Center property would be the ideal location for a Community College of Washington County or some other new institution of higher education. In fact, the administration building would be perfect for this.
I also think the planners of Southpointe II should design the project with an eye toward strengthening Canonsburg. Even though the borough is not in the 46th District, it certainly serves as the "town center" for many residents of the 46th in Chartiers and Cecil townships. Energizing Canonsburg's economy and making it a more vibrant place would only add to the appeal (and property values) of Chartiers and Cecil.
Among the topics of discussion were the procedures for the consolidation or mergers of neighboring townships. The discussion was a very first baby step in what could be consideration of a coming together of Independence Township and Cross Creek Township.
It's good to see the residents of the Avella area having this discussion. It's appropriate from time to time for citizens to question the structure of their governments and ask if the business of the people could be conducted more efficiently -- it's something we definitely need more of at the state level, too.
Two other major items of discussion at the meeting were code enforcement (notably for neglected properties) and policing in the Avella area. (Currently, none of the municipalities in the Avella Area School District have their own police departments and rely solely on the PA State Police for law enforcement.) I don't think it's a stretch to say that these are two areas where the townships could be more effective by working together.
There is a report in today's O-R about the meeting.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The session, held at the Fort Cherry High School auditorium, lasted from 6 p.m. to 1:15 a.m.! (We only made it until about 12:15 a.m.) There were several more hours of "expert testimony" in addition to the public comment session. Caroline Shannon has a report in today's O-R about the hearing.
A representative of the Raccoon Creek Watershed Association spoke in favor of the project -- saying she believed the removal of the waste coal would provide permanent assurance that it would no longer be a threat to Little Raccoon Creek. She stated that the owner of the gob pile is currently treating the acid run-off into the creek and the waters do sustain some types of fish.
We learned on Tuesday that, on Monday, July 31, a meeting was held at Quicksilver Golf Course between representatives of Robinson Power Co. (the applicant) and all three of the Robinson Township supervisors. Those who had registered at the public hearings as "objectors" to the project were also invited but it appears that most did not attend (due to short notice and vacations).
I find this to be troubling. What was said in this meeting that could not be said in the public forums?
After some 30 hours of public hearings (between those of the township planning commission and the supervisors), for these types of talks to take place at this late stage seems to be a slap in the face to the whole process and to the citizens of Robinson Township and the surrounding area.
It surprises me that such a meeting does not run contrary to the provisions the Pennsylvania Sunshine Law. I am not accusing anyone of breaking the law -- I am not an attorney. But, from my years as a newspaper reporter and now as a borough councilman, it has always been my understanding that when a majority of the elected officials of a municipality are gathered together and public business is being discussed that it is necessary to advertise it in the legal notices of a local newspaper as a public meeting.
An aside: From the Raccoon Creek Watershed Association website, here is a map of the watershed:
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The Harry Collins Courts
At our borough council meeting Monday evening, council voted unanimously to name the courts after Harry Collins, a life-long resident of Fourth Street and someone I've known for many years as a fellow parishioner at St. Alphonsus Church. Harry, a World War II veteran, was McDonald's postmaster for 28 years and helped to establish Heritage Park. But, that wasn't the only good reason to name the courts after Harry -- he once promoted tennis programs in the borough and is every bit the fitness enthusiast. Up until a few years ago, he was a common sight biking on the local roads.
In addition to naming the courts after him, McDonald Mayor Jim Frazier and Borough Council also named Tuesday, August 8, as "Harry Collins Day" in the borough. (Jim and Harry are pictured at right. Photos are courtesy of McDonald Councilwoman Patty Phillips.)
The dedication of the courts was the culmination of three years of fundraising to make the project a reality. The $93,000-plus-project was a joint effort of the McDonald Area Redevelopment Association (MARA), the McDonald Parks & Recreation Board and McDonald Borough.
The project was initiated by MARA Secretary and Parks and Recreation Board Member Alice Thomassy, who wrote the successful grant application to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) that provided $40,000 for the project. Construction is also being funded by a $25,000 allocation from the borough; $25,000 donated by MARA; and grants totaling $3,000 from the U.S. Tennis Association. Municipal contributions to the construction project also came in the form of work by the borough and Robinson Township public works crews. Alex Paris Contracting Co. and several local residents also donated many hours of volunteer labor to the project.
The funds provided by MARA were donated by local residents and other supporters through various fundraisers. It is not too late to donate in support of the construction of the new courts! For details on how to contribute, call Alice or Tim Thomassy at (724) 926-4617.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Supporters of Every Age
The tallest young lady in the photo is Emily, who we first met a few months ago while campaigning at the Burgettstown Kids Center cash bash held at the Langeloth Community Center. Emily informed us that she will one day be president of the United States. Needless to say, we're flattered to have the support of a future commander-in-chief -- and that of these other young citizens.
The tall young man in the "abercrombie" shirt is Preston, a supporter from Lancaster County. Preston spent nearly all-day Saturday on the campaign trail with us -- accompanying us to the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Festival and to the Slovan Volunteer Fire Deparment Sportsmens' Bash. Preston is the "little brother" of my campaign manager, Tom Baker, from his days of involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Lancaster. (Tom lived in that part of the state during and after his undergraduate studies at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.)
Congrats to Petrucci's!
The new building looks great and is a full-service grocery store with a deli and bakery. This Petrucci's will be an IGA.
I also was impressed with the McDonald's Restaurant that was built adjoining Petrucci's. This is the first time a McDonald's has been opened in the same building as a small-town grocery store. I had been expecting to see a McDonald's similar to those located in airports and Wal-Marts. But, to the contrary, it is a distinct McDonald's Restaurant with it's own seating and restrooms. No yellow plastic chairs either -- this McDonald's has an attractive modern design and appealing lighting.
Thank you to Jim and Tom Petrucci and their family for the commitment they have made to Burgettstown and the surrounding area. Thank you for the many, many jobs they have created. In small towns, grocery stores are more than just businesses where people buy food. They are community anchors and gathering places. Burgettstown is blessed to have a local family that didn't let the flood waters submerge their entrepreneurship and community dedication.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Breakfast In Burgettstown
I would especially like to thank Jen Bertha and Debbie Guiddy for planning the event. Jen and Debbie did the shopping for us and coordinated the set-up. Thanks also to Raegene Stetar, Jim Guiddy and Meryl Hatton for their help!
Among the Burgettstown-area residents who joined us yesterday morning were Jim Reedy and his family. Jim leads the Burgettstown Kids Center, which was the driving force behind creation of the Burgettstown Community Park. The park is a testament to the generosity and strong work ethic of the people of Burgettstown Borough and the surrounding townships. Opened recently in a once vacant lot, the park features a pavilion, large gazebo, basketball courts and lots of playground equipment.
If I am elected to the PA House on November 7, look for me to be to be an advocate and partner for projects like the Burgettstown Community Park throughout the 46th District.
An aside: the picnic also provided me an opportunity to recognize my grandmothers, Dolores Vincenti Hoag and Anna Summerville Snatchko, both of whom joined us for the event.
Humidity Woes for Trinity Schools
As was the case everywhere in the Northeast last week, the major topic of discussion was the unbearable humidity. Specifically, the school board discussed the havoc the increased humidity has caused for the HVAC systems in two of the district's elementary schools. It looks like it may cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix this problem.
John Richards has a report from the meeting in yesterday's O-R.
New Homes in Canton Township?
The housing units would be built mostly as duplexes, though the men left open the possibility that a few of the units could be triplexes. The homes would be between 1,700 and 2,900 square feet, feature vaulted ceilings, and sell for between $190,000 and $230,000. There would be a clubhouse and a swimming pool and a homeowners' association would take responsibility for the grounds. The development will be known as Brick Ridge Estates.
Friday, August 04, 2006
You, your family members & friends are cordially invited to a
"Meet the Candidate" Breakfast Picnic
the Paul Snatchko Campaign Committee
& the Burgettstown Area Republican Committee (BARC)
This Saturday, August 5, 2006
9 to 11 a.m.
@ Burgettstown Community Park
Between the 1800 and 1900 block of Main Street, Burgettstown
(Main Street runs roughly parallel to Route 18 on the western side of the borough. From Route 18, you can access Main Street from turns near Petrucci’s Market or the NAPA store. Look for the new gazebo!)
Please join us Saturday morning to learn about the campaign and talk some politics! There is no cost to attend but guests are invited to bring a container of juice, pack of bottled waters, pastry or breakfast casserole (for the cooks out there) but there’s no requirement to do so.
To RSVP, for directions or more information, please contact:
Tom Baker at (412) 608-8842 or email@example.com
Craig Howell has an article on the picnic in the the PA Focus.
SPC & the Bridges
Helping the Teen Center
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
More Entrepreneurship in Buffalo Township
The P-G's Linda Taylor penned an article in Sunday's Washington section about Bovine Wines, a new winery on Route 40. Linda reports that the winery was opened three weeks ago by township residents Mike and Lynne Young.
O-R Business Editor Mike Bradwell also has an article today on the winery. From Mike's report:
The biggest anomaly about the Youngs' business is its location in a dry township.
The couple said it took several meetings with Buffalo Township supervisors to convince them they only wanted to sell their bottles of wine for drinking off the premises. While they offer samples of their output, the plastic sample cups are not much larger than a thimble.
"While Buffalo Township is a dry community, it is legal to open a winery in a dry community in Pennsylvania," Mike said, adding that the operation can't become a drinking establishment.
More from the Golf Outing
Fellow Fort Cherry H.S. Class of 1994 grads John Welch, Ed Gromacki and Ben Dunfee with Matt Abel
Todd & Barb Wilcock and Albie & Bob Mercer during the rain delay
The Wilcocks and Mercers on the Green
Shana Geramita, Meryl Hatton & Vicki Bozic
Andy Walz and his fellows of the St. Vincent College Class of 2006
Ron, Leo, Sam and Jim from Operating Engineers Local No. 66
George Fedinetz & Joe Snatchko
(Thank you to my sister-in-law, Erin Snatchko, for taking these photos!)