Emsworth mayor: Lillie vs Michael

Yet another mayoral race is to be decided Nov. 7, this one in Emsworth. Amy Sue Lillie won the Democratic nomination in the primary, where Republican Joseph Michael was unopposed. Michael also is running for a seat on Emsworth Council.

The Citizen asked about the following issues. The responses have been edited only in so far as they have been cut and pasted to relate to the questions asked.

Employment/education

Lillie: I'm an Emsworth native attending Avonworth School district for my entire pre-college education. Caring for the community has been my life's focus. I was recognized as Volunteer of the Year multiple years as well as other community awards. I have always been dedicated to working hard for the community I live in. I also volunteered while at college. I went to Slippery Rock University, Indiana University of PA and CCAC. My degree is in Registered Nursing. For going on 18 years I've been an RN and I currently serve as the Post Acute Liaison at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. I'm also a breast cancer survivor/fighter.

Michael: Graduated from PA Cyber.

Community service

Lillie: In addition to career positions, I also volunteered as or was a member of: Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority - dedicating many hours to the community including as a literacy tutor and to initiate the Dial-a-Story program; Forbes Hospice volunteer; Emsworth Women's Association; Student Nurses Association of PA - President; President of my graduating nursing class; Pittsburgh Marathon medical team; Quick Response Services for Quail Fire Department; Miracle League Volunteer 2016, 2017

Michael: I have done service projects through the Pittsburgh Project, Northgate Church, Light of Life Missions, and World Vision Headquarters.
What do you see as the biggest challenges
facing your borough and how would
you address them if elected?

Lillie: We have much to be proud of as residents of Emsworth and we have much to look forward to. We can keep our small town feel while adding forward-thinking changes - changes that would positively impact all of us, including:

Economic development - encourage more businesses to join our community and partner with them as a borough to help our community; develop a welcoming committee for new families and businesses; create a directory of local businesses to give to new residents and booklet of information about our borough and surrounding area; establish a working board of community leaders to identify and assist in the development of “Business and Residents” retention strategy.

Beautification/Revitalization - apply for grants to help increase the aesthetics of our neighborhood and needs of our community -- in my past positions I have worked on applying for and receiving grants in health care areas

Neighborhood Watch - ensure the safety of our families, our homes and our businesses, especially by working with our police department and supporting them as well as our fire department

Emsworth Trust - help to take care of the elderly and others in need; support and enhance ordinances; develop community-based groups that address our community's diversity; build community events that tighten our borough bond and engage the greater-Pittsburgh area

Public safety -Support our local EMS,Police and Fire Department by working with them to improve their ability to service our community. Improve relations between law enforcement and the community

Fiscal responsibility - assist council to review budgets to determine needs vs wants in Emsworth to see if we can streamline some borough operations by working to reduce costs and deliver necessary services efficiently; Limit the use of outside consultants and rely more on expertise of our own residents and getting 3 or more bids for any work in our town

Enhance and encourage Youth participation in our community to provide input on youth concerns and activities for the future of Emsworth. Reach out to youth so they know we care about their ideas

Communication - develop a Mayor's Page on our website that serves as open access to the exchange of ideas between the board and the community; post timely and accurate meeting minutes to keep people informed on our progress, and reach out to the community members who do not have time to attend the borough meetings so they know that our council works hard and is listening to what they need and want to happen in our borough .

All of these things matter to the borough, to me and to you. We all have a stake in ensuring that our community continues to thrive. A thriving community ensures responsible growth and has a positive impact on property values.

As I said when I was on Emsworth Council, "I intend to work hard to make (us) responsive to the public service needs of our residents"

Michael: Funding for infrastructure. I have worked as a volunteer on a lot of political campaigns, and through that I have built up a lot of contacts throughout this state and in DC, before the borough would vote to spend any money I would reach out to those resources to see if there is grant money we can get. Whether it's for fire trucks, or for roads or for whatever we need.

Public Safety is also a concern, safety has only gotten worse not better, and I think a neighborhood watch in Emsworth would even further deter crime and mischief.

Why are you running for office?

Lillie: I was born and raised in Emsworth. I have lived here more than 46 years and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the borough and the people living here. More than anything, I want to ensure that the borough thrives - and that's why I am running for mayor. I have the experience, leadership and ideas to move our borough forward. There is so much we can do to make our borough better for all our residents. We have so much we can build upon: a diverse population, great amenities, good infrastructure and affordability. I can work together with council using my enthusiasm, creativity, ability to make tough decisions, common sense, skills, knowledge base and leadership to help our borough.

Michael: To be an agent of change, when I saw that the borough needed someone with my resources and connections to help I had to get into the race because if things continue as they are the borough will be bankrupt, or have to raise taxes to avoid bankruptcy. And raising taxes is not an option.

Any other statement you would like to make?

Lillie: Perhaps my proudest accomplishment to date is being a mother to my son Warren. He has been involved with extracurricular activities such as swimming, soccer, bowling, Boy Scouts, and Miracle League buddy while still maintaining excellent grades, Because of my strong belief in this community, I chose to raise my son here. As I grew up here I feel it is a wonderful place to live and I want to help preserve the small town feel while adding forward-thinking changes to benefit all ages of our community.

Michael: In this election there are two choices; more of the same old business as usual, or a new face that can be a voice of reason and usher in needed change for our community. The people will have to pick in about 2 weeks.