Monday, June 12, 2006

Rauterkus set to make run at state Senate seat in 42nd |

Rauterkus set to make run at state Senate seat in 42nd | Rauterkus set to make run at state Senate seat in 42nd

Michael Cristiano, Staff Writer, Thursday, June 8, 2006

South Side resident Mark Rauterkus looks to unseat incumbent State Sen. Wayne Fontana from his 42nd District perch in November.

Rauterkus, 47, a South Side resident and Penn Hills native, believes issues such as property tax, hefty tax incremental financing for large businesses and city and suburban recreational areas have been neglected by elected officials.

"The assessment system is a debacle," said Rauterkus, a swim coach with Carlynton School District. "If you fix up your home, they come out and punish you -- your taxes go up."

He favors a tax on land, based on square footage, instead of on homes, similar to the system Maryland has in place where assessment numbers would change over a three-year period.

TIFs are another sore spot with Rauterkus from the tax breaks for Lazarus to proposals to fund a new brewery in Latrobe.

"The government doesn't need to come in and spend millions of our tax dollars to open a new brewery," said Rauterkus.

The graduate of Ohio University and former candidate for mayor and city council also believes parks and recreational areas in the city have been neglected for too long. He criticized state legislator's attempts to fund repairs to Dormont Pool as short-sighted.

"We need to be looking globally at our resources not just worrying about one ... if we're going to put that much money into one place it should be used year-round," said Rauterkus, a married man with two sons.

Rauterkus, vice chairman of the Allegheny County Libertarian Party, who will run as an Independent cited disappointment with Fontana's policy.

He believes Fontana to be a vote for the status quo.

"He's been in there for more than a year and he hasn't done anything," said Rauterkus.

Fontana won a special election for the 42nd District in May 2005, beating out both Michael Diven (R-22) and Rauterkus, after Jack Wagner vacated the seat to become state auditor general.

Rauterkus, who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, said he would work to bring accountability and transparency to state government if elected.

He needs 500 signatures to get on the November ballot.

"I think a vote for me is a protest vote. The guys in Harrisburg have abused the taxpayers."

The 42nd District encompasses parts of the City of Pittsburgh, Baldwin, Kennedy, Neville, Robinson, Scott and Stowe townships and Bellevue, Brentwood, Carnegie, Castle Shannon, Coraopolis, Crafton, Dormont, Green Tree, Heidelberg, Ingram, McKees Rocks, Pennsbury, Village, Rosslyn Farms and Thornburg boroughs.
The first interview and bit of press about the race for PA Senate, 2006, is out. Nice job Michael.

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