One incumbent on the Petersburg borough assembly is running for re-election; another is holding fast to his decision to step down. Nancy Strand will seek her second term on the borough assembly, while John Havrilek says he won’t seek a second term.
Strand is a 70-year-old retired construction worker, finishing up a two year term on the assembly for the borough that came into existence in 2013. She also served several terms on the council for the old city of Petersburg.
Strand said she would like to see the jail and municipal building renovation project through to completion. “It may take the whole three years the way things are going but yes I’d to see that done.”
The borough has hired a company to design the renovation of the police station jail and municipal building and still needs to come up with about three point four million dollars for the proposed 10 million dollar project.
Strand said she hopes other people will run for assembly. She said it took her a few months to decide to run. As of this week, she’s the only taker for the two open seats.
Strand did not think it’s lack of interest or financial disclosure requirements discouraging people from running.
“I think that that the people that have the interest don’t have the time,” she said. “And the people with the time would rather go fishing or do something else.”
Retired educator and school administrator John Havrilek is also finishing up a two-year term on the assembly but said he is not interested in running for re-election. “I’ve done this for about 10 years on and off Joe and I just don’t think I’m very effective,” he said. “So I’d rather, hoping to have someone else step up who could maybe make a bigger difference.”
Havrilek has had a little pressure from other assembly members to run again. However, he said he’s frustrated that budget cuts he’s tried to enact at the local level have not passed. “The state’s 80 percent short and they announced today that a barrel of oil is down to 40 dollars the lowest in decades. So there’s going to be even more shortfalls. And just the simple cuts I tried to push through got nowhere, so it’s going to be really tough. The PERS thing that may be, well that will be falling back on us is a bigger expense. All the other things I don’t know if we’re ready for them and I don’t know what to do to help us get ready for it.”
Havrilek was referring to his expectation that the state will try to get municipalities like Petersburg to pay more into PERS, the Public Employee Retirement System. He questioned borough manager Steve Giesbrecht about that possibility at a meeting this month.
Like Strand, Havrilek served on the city council prior to his time on the assembly. He said he expects to miss meetings in September which could make Thursday’s meeting his last on the assembly. Havrilek does think someone else will step up to run for the seat. The deadline to file paperwork is Tuesday.