PITTSTON — Lt. Governor Michael Stack was intrigued by the positive changes he saw occurring in Pittston, which prompted him to get a closer look.
Stack visited the city on Thursday evening and was given a tour of downtown Pittston by city officials such as Mayor Jason Klush, former mayor Michael Lombardo, City Administrator Joe Moskowitz, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority Joe Chacke and Main Street Manager Rose Randazzo, to name a few.
Senator John Yudichak also joined in on the tour.
Lombardo said he was contacted by Stack’s office on Monday and that he was surprised by the Lt. Governor’s interest in the city.
“I wasn’t aware that him coming was even a discussion,” Lombardo said. “I was told the Lt. Governor wanted to see Pittston’s success story, and we’re always thrilled when we hear that.”
Stack said this was not his first time visiting the city, but that he noticed the big improvement since the last time he visited.
“I was in Pittston a couple of year ago, maybe even a little longer than a couple of years ago,” he said. “I was visiting a couple of senators on state business and the Pittston I saw then, was far different than the Pittston I’ve seen now. Needless to say, the Pittston I see now is much, much, better.”
Stack was shown the renovations of Pittston City Hall, the expansions to the Pittston City Memorial Library, the Inspiration Mural on the Newrose Building and was taken into local establishments such as Art on Main, Palazzo 53, Purple Squirrel Bakery and JK Holly, where he interacted with their owners.
Stack also complimented the art murals around town and the art on display Art on Main, something Lombardo said he wanted highlight on the tour.
“This is a clear illustration of how art is a priority and it’s not going to solve war or cure disease, but it’s got its piece,” he said. “I think we had a really great opportunity to look at those things and I think we got a nice block of time. I think the lieutenant governor’s feedback was positive.”
Of all the things that stuck out to him on the tour, Stack gave his nod of appreciation for the library expansion, saying he plans to use his experience visiting Pittston’s library as a way to help other communities with their libraries.
“I think any great community has a great library,” he said. “I know that in the way they did their taxes here, they included a dedicated funding for libraries and I’m going to carry that message all over the place. Every small town and every big city should have dedicated funding for libraries.”
After the tour was completed, Stack offered his appreciation to the city officials for showing him around and expressed his desire to come back to the city for its big events such as the annual Tomato Festival.
Lombardo said he was thrilled of Stack’s compliments and looks forward to his return.
“I think that’s great,” he said. “We would love to get him back here. We’ve got a lot of great events such as the Second Friday Art Walk, St. Patrick’s Parade, the Tomato Festival and he was eyeing up the menu in Palazzo so we can get him back here for a good meal.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher