Citizen Activist Launches Write-in Campaign For County Council

May 8, 2019

Sam Troy, a longtime critic of local governmental leaders, will run a write-in campaign for Luzerne County Council in the May 21 primary.

Troy, 69, of Wilkes-Barre, on Tuesday described himself as a “watchdog” candidate. He criticized county Manager David Pedri and the council majority who support Pedri for their “business as usual, taxpayer be damned approach.”

Troy said he hopes to collect enough write-in votes to secure the nomination of both major parties in the primary, but is especially focused on the Republican line, where just four people are running for six available council seats.

Seven candidates will appear on the Democratic line. Write-in candidates must obtain at least 250 votes in the primary to appear on the November ballot.

Troy, a registered Independent, said the “final straw” that inspired his write-in campaign came April 23, when council voted to pay a Harrisburg-based lobbying firm $5,000 per month to seek funding for looming major expenditures such as an upgraded 911 communication system.

“The way the county spends money is getting out of hand,” he said.

Troy ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign for Wilkes-Barre Area School Board in 2017. He has attended meetings of that district’s school board and Wilkes-Barre City Council for years, frequently blasting elected leaders for wasting public money.

He recently started to attend county council meetings, and has not liked much of what he has seen, he said.

“The situation there is parallel to the situation in the city and the school board: The taxpayers are getting the short end of the stick,” he said.

Troy said he would seek to eliminate a county-wide $5 vehicle registration surcharge that county council approved last year, as well as a controversial stormwater fee that took effect this year for some county residents, though the county did not levee that fee and does not collect it.

He said he wants to amend the county charter to provide greater transparency in county government.

Troy encouraged anyone with questions about his campaign to contact him at 570-235-9280.

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