PITTSTON — It’s election season in Pittston and, on Wednesday night, a familiar face in the mayoral race took the podium to outline his platform.
Mike Lombardo, who served as mayor of Pittston from 1998 to 2006, is running for another term in office after taking time for family. He was joined Feb. 15 at the Gramercy Ballroom by Councilman Michael Lombardo, the mayoral candidate’s cousin, and Councilman Ken Bangs. Together, the trio is running under the banner “Candidates for Progress.”
“It’s creating a new downtown, creating new neighborhoods,” Mayoral candidate Lombardo said. “It’s making sure that we have emergency services that we need to serve the residents of the city. It’s making sure our parks are the best they can be.”
Parks were part of Lombardo’s four-point platform. In what he called the Parks to Prosperity Program, he outlined plans to bring “A-Plus, premiere parks” to Pittston, including investments at West Park.
“As we build neighborhoods those parks become important parts of our community,” Lombardo said.
His other three points were continuation of downtown development and expansion to Pittston Junction, improving what he called the “financial situation of the city” and a commitment to either building or revitalizing 100 structures in Pittston during his term.
The mayoral candidate also wants to stabilize the Greater Pittston YMCA, give Pittston Historical Society a headquarters and bring Luzerne County Community College to the M&T Bank Building on Main Street by fall 2018.
“There’s no single gesture that’s more important in a community than education,” he said.
Lombardo is currently unopposed. Current Pittston Mayor Jason C. Klush is npt running for reelection, but was at the Gramercy in support of the three candidates.
“I ran with Kenny and Michael, the ones that are running for council,” Klush said. “Mike, who’s running again for mayor, I’ve known him forever. I support these guys 100 percent. They’ll continue progress. They’ll make it even better.”
Before taking the podium, Lombardo mentioned the importance of emergency services in Pittston. His cousin and Councilman Michael Lombardo, who’s running for reelection in May, said those services are a large part of the progress of Pittston.
“We want to continue to strengthen our neighborhoods, make sure they’re safe, make sure they’re clean,” he said. “We have to make sure we’re providing good core functions. You need local government to provide those core functions. It’s rubber meets the road.”
Councilman Bangs, also running for re-election, said it’s important to keep the same officials in place so projects can continue as planned.
“This is not their first rodeo, either,” Bangs said. “We’ve all been together before. We’re getting the band back together.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6406 or Twitter @GeneAxtonTL