For the first time since 1992, the annual police district elections are uncontested. Police Commissioner Sal Zimbardi, who was elected in 1998 for a three-year term, will be on the ballot on Dec. 11, at the Polish American Hall. Voting hours are noon - 9 p.m.
Police Commissioner Sal Zimbardi is running unopposed for re-election this year
Over the past 25 years, only six elections were uncontested. In 1975, Charles Murphy ran uncontested. In 1985, 1988 and 1991 Jim Costello ran unopposed. 1990 and 1992 saw Steve Zaccherio and Frank Scobbo, respectively, returned to office in uncontested elections.
Commenting about his first term of office, Commissioner Zimbardi told the Port News, "I learned and listened with respect to the operations of our Police District. I encouraged, and am a firm believer in, input and participation at meetings from staff and the public."
For his upcoming term, the commissioner, who has been a member of the School Safety Task Force for over two years, says one of his focuses will be the safety of our kids. "The safety of our children in our schools is of paramount importance."
The commissioner is also proud of the fact that the board of commissioners authorized the formation of a Gang Unit to combat the problems caused by various gangs that came to town. He states, "The Gang Unit has successfully stopped the gangs from expanding and causing serious crime."
Traffic safety and enforcement is also a concern of Mr. Zimbardi. He applauds the district's measure to increase the Traffic Safety and Enforcement Unit, which was expanded as a result of surveys and concerns voiced by taxpayers.
Commissioner Zimbardi noted that a safety issue that the commissioners plan to address shortly is the unsafe manner in which some parents and others discharge and pick up their children at schools.
Alluding to the past administrative and financial woes of the police district, Mr. Zimbardi states, "Our police district is in sound financial condition." He adds, "As liaison to our accountants, I consult with them frequently as I continue to monitor the long range financial plan that we started three years ago." He noted that the district recently hired five new police officers to replace those that have retired or plan to retire next year.
The commissioner emphatically states that he enjoys his work and looks forward to serving as police commissioner for the next three years.
Candidates in the elections in the other three special districts are also running unopposed. They are: Water Pollution Control District Commissioner Don Kurz, Water Commissioner Thomas Murray, Garbage District Commissioner James Kallenberg, and Garbage Commissioner Anthony Conetta, who is running for the one-year unexpired term of William Yorio.