Bellevue first ward council contest

How long have you resided in Bellevue?
Cerminara: I have lived in Bellevue for 9 years.
Woshner: 47 years.

What is your educational background?
Cerminara: I graduated cum laude from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies.
Woshner: AA and BSBA cum laude majoring in business management from Robert Morris University

What is your professional background?
Cerminara: My career has been in retail management and customer service. For the past 18 years, I have worked for two different outdoor retailers in numerous roles including sales specialist, operations supervisor, assistant manager, and retail sales manager. In each of these roles, the most important part of my job has been working together to achieve a goal with both my customers and my fellow employees. In 2016, I was voted by my peers for the prestigious Anderson Award at REI for best representing our core values of Authenticity, Quality, Service, Work/Life Balance, Integrity, and Respect.
Woshner: Owner of an insurance agency and investment properties.

Community service?
Cerminara: I am active in the Bellevue Elementary PTO and volunteering for the Wizardvue event this summer. As an outdoor enthusiast, I value preserving our outdoor spaces for future generations and have volunteered for many outdoor clean-ups and trail maintenance work days in the Pittsburgh region.
Woshner: Volunteer for the 4th of July event, the community fireworks event, on the Sesquicentennial (150th) Bellevue committee, National Night Out day, Friends of Bayne Library, chaired the Easter egg hunt for 4 years, on the advisory board of Allegheny Clean Air Now.

Prior local government experience?
Cerminara: This is the first time I have run for any political office. However, I have been an active participant in our democratic process by voting in every election since I was eligible at age 18. I've also engaged with candidates, such as our current mayor, to help with campaigning.
Woshner: 13 years as a council person including being president and vice president. Also, attended council meetings on a regular basis for 10 years prior to becoming a member of council.

Why are you running for a position on Bellevue Council? What skills/qualities do you possess that will allow you to contribute to the borough government?
Cerminara: As an engaged citizen, I want to have an impact on the progress of Bellevue. I have owned a home here for 9 years. In that time, I have explored and enjoyed this community while continuing to see the opportunity for growth. It is the responsibility of the council to represent the citizens in a thoughtful, mindful, and respectful way. The connections I have made in Bellevue with other residents led me to the decision that I am the voice for them for council.
I can contribute to council in a variety of ways. I’ve learned that the key to reaching solutions is listening and engaging in civil discussion. As a manager, I balanced both the views of my employees, my managers, and the customers to create successes in both sales and payroll. Often times we had to make hard choices to ensure that budgets were met within a timetable, and taking considerations of others to determine priorities and processes made a huge difference for everyone’s understanding.
Woshner: During the 13 years I have been on council there has been a resurgence in Bellevue such as an unprecedented number of grants received, a much-improved playground, borough wide cameras to deter crime just to name a few. These improvements did not just happen. They have been years in the making and I want to make more happen. In addition, I want to continue to be an advocate of cutting unnecessary costs and for responsible spending. It is easy to spend taxpayers’ money, but I have a track record of saving money. Most important, I want to ensure our infrastructure such as roads are given priority treatment and not to have the paving budget reduced to fund pet projects.
Skills: My experience as a business owner has been beneficial to negotiate the best deal on contracts, look for the best price and understand budgets. I have attended many classes, seminars, webinars and conferences to increase my knowledge of government. It is important to know the ins and outs of government and I have used that knowledge and contacts to talk to our elected officials to obtain project funding. I have started a conversation with Senator Fontana about West Bellevue Station funding.

What do you consider to be the most important issue(s) facing the borough, and do you have any ideas on how to address those issues?
Cerminara: One of the biggest issues I believe we need to tackle in Bellevue is pedestrian safety. People live here and move here because they enjoy walking in our community, and additionally, our children walk to school. Many sidewalks are in disrepair, as well as lacking accessibility for wheelchairs or strollers. We can and should do better for the residents of Bellevue. I have been reading the Bellevue code to familiarize myself with the current regulations for sidewalk maintenance as well as researching Pennsylvania codes as it relates to sidewalk accessibility. I believe we can come up with a long term plan for Bellevue within our budget to make improvements with crosswalk markings, signage, and updating sidewalk corners. Additionally, I would also like to explore a way to financially empower residents to make the improvements to their own sidewalks.
Woshner: Bellevue has major projects such as West Bellevue station, East Bellevue station and storm water erosion. Possibly, over $1 million. We need to start individual reserves to fund these projects. Even if we obtain grants we still will have a funding match. Our road paving budget has been an easy mark for transferring its funding to other projects. Roads cannot be a target for funding reductions as it has been. The first impression someone has when they first visit our borough are the roads.

Any other statement you’d like to make:
Cerminara: I want Bellevue to be a successful, vibrant community for every resident and business owner. We have an amazing main street, great affordable homes, and easy access to the city. It is the job of council to listen to the people in the borough to grow our community. I will make thoughtful and progressive decisions to enhance our assets while striving to balance that with maintaining the charm and beauty of our small town. I ask for your vote on May 21.
Woshner: Bellevue has a majority of new voices on council. Bellevue needs an experienced, knowledgeable and independent voice on council who is willing to speak out for the taxpayer. Most importantly, I have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for the borough during my tenure on council.