Longtime Democratic incumbent Jim Ellenbogen is facing Democratic challenger Bob Palmosina for the part-time Allegheny County Council seat representing Pittsburgh’s South Hills and West End. Each candidate has decades of experience in area public-works departments, and both embrace new residents of all backgrounds moving to the district. Their differences are subtle and lie in the details.
Served many years as an administrator in the Pittsburgh Public Works Department and currently works for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Has lived in the 12th District for more than 20 years and touts his independent voting record; has voted across party lines many times on council.
Says council needs to take steps to make more funds available to tackle the spike in overdose deaths. Also believes increasing communication between Allegheny County’s Health Department and its Human Services Department could go a long way in tackling the epidemic.
Voted in favor of allowing fracking underneath Deer Lakes Park, but against fracking near the Pittsburgh International Airport. Says he had to weigh economic impacts and community opposition. Says he will proceed with “extreme caution” when considering future fracking votes.
Is encouraged by the development coming to Beechview and the upcoming project to modernize Broadway Avenue. Wants more projects like these to attract young families to the area. Also approves of immigrant families moving to the district, calling them “hard-working.”
Friends and Supporters
Says he avoided seeking the Democratic Party endorsement, arguing endorsements aren’t worth it. Did receive an endorsement from Vote Pro Life.
Worked in Pittsburgh Public Works Department for more than 30 years and is now the director of public works in Collier Township. Says he wants to serve on county council, because his three sons are now adults, giving him more time to give back and serve his community.
Supports Allegheny County Sheriff Bill Mullen’s plan to pick up and dispose of unneeded pain medications. Also wants to increase educational programs to teach youths and adults how to better detect the signs of addiction and overdoses.
Says he needs to learn more about fracking before weighing in on potential county decisions, but recognizes the money it can bring in. Advocates for increased meetings, so he and the community can assess the pros and cons of future gas-drilling sites.
Is excited to see new construction in District 12, including projects in Mount Washington, Beechview and the old Parkway Center Mall site. Wants to work to bring projects that will improve roads and public services, like parks and baseball fields.
Friends and Supporters
Endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Party, and is the current chairman of Pittsburgh’s 20th Ward Democratic Committee. Also endorsed by Pittsburgh’s Fraternal Order of Police and firefighter groups in District 12.