Avalon mayor: Jackson vs Lloyd

Avalon voters will elect a new mayor on Nov. 7, choosing between Republican Brigitte Jackson, who has held the office since last spring's resignation of the former mayor, and Democrat and Avalon Council member Tom Lloyd.

The Citizen asked the candidates the following questions, and their unedited responses are included below.

Jackson: I am a wife, mother of two, active volunteer, and the current Avalon Mayor. I was appointed by council in May to fulfill a term until December. I graduated from Northgate High School and then went to the University of Pittsburgh where I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology.

Lloyd: No answer.

Community Service

Jackson: I am currently the President Elect of the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce. I help to organize events and participate as a volunteer every year in the Halloween Parade, Light up Night, and the Art and Wine Crawl which are all sponsored by the Chamber. I help to organize the Bellevue and Avalon National Night Out event, National Walk to School Day, and the Police vs Teacher Volleyball game (the next game occurring on November 15th). Most recently I volunteered at Dumpster Day sponsored by Bellevue and Avalon Boroughs as well as the Shredding Event held by Representative Adam Ravenstahl. I am also helping to plan the Opioid Crisis Presentation that will occur on Nov. 8th. I am a member the Avalon PTO and I'm actively involved with the school by volunteering in the classrooms of both of my children. I am the Kids Connection Coordinator at Word and Worship Church, Brighton Heights Campus. I am a peer supporter for Parent to Parent and a parent advocate for the Epilepsy Foundation. I previously served on the Northgate School Board for 6 years and was Vice President when I resigned in May to accept the position of Mayor. I was one of the core group of people that helped to establish the Intergovernmental Committee that is comprised of members of the Northgate School District, Bellevue Borough Council and Avalon Borough Council. I have served as a member of the Tri Borough Planning Commission. I have been involved in both AvalonNOW and Avalon Quality of Life. I also was involved with helping to build the Bellevue Dog Woods and I still volunteer on an as needed basis.

Lloyd: I have served for the last eight (8) years on Avalon Borough Council, currently serving as Vice President of Council. I have served as Chairman of the following committees, Streets, Finance, Library and the Quaker Valley COG, where I am presently the secretary. I am a voting member to the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and I'm also on the Awards Committee. I am also a voting member to The Pennsylvania State of Boroughs of Councils' Association. Life member of the Dormont Volunteer Fire Department, serving 25 years and was President for (9) nine years. I was a member to the Tri Borough Planning Commission and I'm an active member of Avalon Now and participate in Clean-up days, Apple Blossom Festival, Touch-a-Truck and of course Brighten the Season where I have been disguised as Santa Claus since the event was established.

Why are you running for mayor?

Jackson: As an active member in the community, I often see different groups working to accomplish the same goals. Each group wants to highlight the good things happening in their own community. They want to see more businesses and less blighted properties. Each individual group can only do so much on their own. If they combine their resources and work together, so much more could be done. This is the reason I want to be mayor. I believe I have developed the right relationships over the years to be the person to get all of the different groups at the same table, working together. I believe it starts in Avalon, but extends to our school district and neighboring communities. I will work with council and our police department because there is strength in numbers and together we can accomplish more.

Lloyd: Why do I want to be Mayor of Avalon? I believe Avalon has so much to offer for families that are looking for a place to move as well as a wonderful place for our citizens to call home. Avalon Council and the Borough Manager and Secretary are working on projects that will make Avalon a much talked about community today and in the future. My father served 40 years as a member of Dormont Council and Mayor and I have been following my father's example in public service. When I moved to Avalon over 10 years ago, I immediately began attending public meetings and volunteered to serve on the Planning Commission. I have prepared for serving as mayor by attending classes and webinars over the past several years. If elected Mayor, I will continue working with Borough Council, the Police Chief, the Fire Chief and the residents of the entire community. My motto is “Believe in Avalon” and I believe when elected people will come to realize what a wonderful community Avalon is. Thank you for your support.

Any other statement you'd like to make?

Jackson: My husband and I were both raised in Bellevue and moved to Avalon when we married 14 years ago. I have been a volunteer within the community since I was in high school. I have always used service as my way of giving back. I am a mother of two children, Sydney and Ian, and they watch everything I do even when I think they aren't paying attention. It was a big deal when I became the first female mayor in Avalon. By my actions, I have taught my children that with hard work and dedication, they can achieve anything they want, even if it has never been done before. I humbly ask the residents of Avalon for the ability to continue to use my gifts and talents to serve my community.

Lloyd: No answer.