Gilbert To Seek Second Term On W-B Council
Beth Gilbert will seek re-election to Wilkes-Barre City Council.
Gilbert, 24, announced Sunday she will seek a second four-year term representing the city’s District C, which includes much of downtown and the Heights neighborhood.
Gilbert, a Democrat who was elected in 2015, said she wants to propose more proactive legislation aimed at improving the quality of life for city residents if re-elected. She wants to address blighted properties and help clean up the city, she said.
Gilbert said she spent much of her first three years in office “constantly reacting and putting out fires” rather than working on positive initiatives.
“It was difficult to actually have time to introduce legislation,” she said. “I think I will be able to accomplish that.”
Gilbert pointed to some council accomplishments during her tenure, such as passing an anti-discrimination ordinance and reclassifying possession of drug paraphernalia from a misdemeanor to a summary offense.
She said she was proud of her role in pushing for an outside agency to review the city police department and its procedures — an issue on which Gilbert clashed with Mayor Tony George and former police Chief Marcella Lendacky.
Gilbert, who has criticized George on several issues including city finances, said she is not sure if she will endorse a candidate for mayor this year. George announced last fall that he will seek a second term.
Gilbert also said she did not feel the time was right for her to run for mayor herself.
“I want to gain more experience ... working on the ground level,” she said.
Gilbert works for Special Guest App, a private tech company. She graduated from Wilkes University.
She joins incumbent council members Bill Barrett and Tony Brooks in seeking re-election. Mike Merritt will not seek re-election, while Mike Belusko, the current council chairman, has not yet announced if he will run.
Wilkes-Barre council members are paid $13,199 per year, except for the chairperson, who is paid $14,699.
All five council seats will be on the ballot this year.
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