The third candidate in one of the most expensive races in Pennsylvania history is Mark Rauterkus, but he's not putting out the $1 million plus like his two opponents.
The representative of the Libertarian party is as a community activist who feels there are a number of issues not being presented to the state Senate.
'I think I would help Pennsylvanians in the area of quality of life,' Rauterkus said. One of his ideas is assessment buffering, which would avoid municipal-wide windfalls. Assessment would change over three years, similar to Maryland.
He proposes a tax on the land (land-value tax) as opposed to homes, based on a square footage factor.
'People are rewarded for letting their building go to pieces. There's no reason to be penalized for taking care of your home.'
Parks, volunteering, education and treatment of children are also major issues for the South Side resident. He wants to create a park district in the city as a governmental overlay after consolidating several county and city entities and form a new group that would oversee that kids don't get the short end of the stick.
'Our parks have been, for a long time, held together by a band-aid. The swimming pools have been grossly neglected.'
In the suburbs according to Rauterkus, voters need to know that the issues that effect the city also hit the taxpayers on the outside. The huge parking tax, having too many authorities and limiting corporate welfare deals are some things he would want to look at changing to benefit all residents.
Rauterkus works as a swim club coach in Carlynton and considers himself a community activist.
He also publishes a blog on his website. His political career includes a run for mayor four years ago, when he was defeated by Tom Murphy.
After graduating from Penn Hills in 1977, he earned a journalism degree from Ohio University. He is married and has two sons.
'I'd be a lightning rod for every other independent person,' said Rauterkus.
'I'm an advocate for citizens. I would offer a strong voice of alternative thinking in Harrisburg.'
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