The Way I See It: New lessons, and a horse by a different name

Categories:  News & Politics    Opinion   
Monday, May 27th, 2013 at 4:44 PM

The primary elections wrapped up this past Tuesday, May 21, and I’m here to tell you all about them – well, some of them. Seeing as many of my columns have focused on the Millcreek School Board, I thought it might be fitting to inform you of your newly elected officers – as well as a handful that are still in waiting – for the General Election.

Let me reiterate – in case you haven’t noticed, I have focused several of my columns on issues related to the Millcreek school district – from the poor leadership of Superintendent Michael Golde to the once approved, then stalled, then dissolved $110 mil renovation project – and most times I wasn’t very complimentary. My criticisms often featured a number of words that a school board (or any governing agency) doesn’t ever want to see in the media – audit, investigation, improper transfer of funds, incompetency – to name a few. But the times, they are a-changin’ – slightly. And hopefully with a few new faces on the panel, it will only be for the better.

Due partially to a dismal – but rather typical – turnout of 23 percent, only two of the four seats changed. Democrats nominated incumbents Michael Kobylka and John DiPlacido for the November General Election. Kobylka was the only vote against a $110 million consolidation project. Democrats also nominated two newcomers to the scene, which include business owner Donna Reese and John Pitzer, a territory manager at Erie Industrial Supply.

On the Republican front, those nominated, include: Kobylka, Reese, Pitzer, and Lou Aliota, who has been a strong voice of opposition in the McDowell project. Of the four seats that were open, three locked in spots: Reese, Kobylka, and Pitzer. Come November, Incumbent John DiPlacido, who took the democratic nomination, and candidate Lou Aliota, who took the republican, will square off.

Third-party and Independent candidates have until Aug. 1 to enter the race.

No matter who ultimately wins, the board faces difficult challenges ahead, and I can only hope they are addressed efficiently and with far more insight than the predecessors had.

A horse by any other name…

Speaking of difficult challenges, the GOP candidate for Erie County executive is facing a few of his own. Republican and Tea Party member Don Tucci – a local entrepreneur and marketing executive – is being sued by a woman who claims he owes her over $50,000 in a business venture.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, May 20 in Erie County Court, seeks $51,951.03 from Tucci – plus interest. The filing regards Equestrian Endeavors LLC, which operated a nonprofit horse-rescue organization that both Tucci and the plaintiff had ownership stakes in.

However, this isn’t the first time he’s been in trouble. Back in February, Tucci had to appear in court because his girlfriend had filed a protection from abuse order against him.

Now, like everyone else, he’s innocent until proven guilty – and although there were no findings of abuse, Tucci consented to the PFA. And the fact that he’s being sued for any amount of money, doesn’t bode well for his candidacy.

So, stay informed voters. No matter what his future holds, in as long as he remains on the right side of the law – he will square off against Democrat and former U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper in the Nov. 5 General Election.

Love? Hate? Agree? Disagree? I want to hear from you. Email me at and follow me on Twitter @rStyn. 

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