The Train of Change is Ready to Roll On

election2015For many years, decades even, Bellevue has had a reputation around the Pittsburgh region as a “difficult” community with which to work. Businesses packed up and left for greener pastures with arms open wide waiting for them. Hired and elected leaders were literally chased from, not only their positions, but from the community as a whole. While other neighborhoods reaped the benefits of a swelling renaissance throughout southwestern PA, little old Bellevue and its leadership maintained its hard earned status of “that town that’ll never change.”

Then in 2013, dramatic, unprecedented change came sweeping into Bellevue. Three problematic members of council were removed and/or blocked from office in a single election. A fourth came ever so close to losing.

This past May, the impossible happened. By overwhelming numbers and against all odds, Bellevue overturned its archaic and self-destructive ban on retail alcohol sales.

Today, the train of change in Bellevue is ready to continue rolling.

We are officially three weeks away from yet another incredibly important and pivotal election in Bellevue’s history. With the ban on alcohol sales over, Bellevue is desperate for fresh leadership and fresh energy to drive the new opportunities which await our community like never before. The decision which awaits Bellevue voters is this:

On Tuesday, November 3rd, we can either re-elect two incumbents who have sat on Bellevue Council for more than two decades combined leading Bellevue to its current status, or we can choose to elect three fresh new candidates, with fresh ideas and fresh energy to lead Bellevue in a brand new direction. 

In years past, Liberty in Bellevue has attempted to remain relatively objective when it came to the election. We would reach out to all the candidates and invite them to use our platform to share their bio and vision for the community they wish to serve. However, what happened each time we pursued this method, the incumbents would make a big stink about how “we don’t like them” and we’d expend all sorts of energy and money only to have nothing to show for it. This year, we’re not going through all that trouble. This year, we’re taking a completely different track. This year, we’re just going to share with you why Bellevue desperately needs to elect Aaryn Hogue, Grant Saylor, and Tom Fodi to council on Tuesday, November 3rd.

The incumbents, Linda Woshner and Jim Scisciani, are lovely people. This we will not deny. They have served Bellevue faithfully for years, decades, in fact. However, just as we judge politicians at the state and national level based on the welfare of the district or region they represent, we believe taking a simple look around at the welfare of Bellevue over the past decade and a half and, as they say, “the proof is in the pudding.” We don’t believe it to be of any benefit drumming up the past and pointing out the countless examples of power-brokering, personal agenda pursuing, endless in fighting, and failure to lead we can cite among our posts and videos alone. The fact is, the reason Liberty in Bellevue exists is entirely based on the price Bellevue has paid as a result of the failed leadership we’ve been stuck in this time.

Tom Fodi, Grant Saylor, and Aaryn Hogue represent what we believe to be enormous steps toward a brand new Bellevue. 

12006256_316078511849769_2094661880344696714_nIf you live and vote in the First Ward, you will have the opportunity to vote for Aaryn Hogue over her opponent, the incumbent, Linda Woshner. Ms. Hogue is precisely the kind of person you want serving you on Bellevue Council. She has no interest in a long term political career. She’s a devout independent who cares deeply about serving Bellevue rather than clinging to power or serving the interests of a political party. But, most importantly Aaryn is a stickler for facts, transparency, accountability, and truth. As a forensic accountant, Bellevue is simply desperate for someone to sift through our borough’s finances with the fine tooth comb she provides and challenge those who seek to hide behind the veil of government.



If you live and vote in the Third Ward, you will have the opportunity to vote for both Grant Saylor and Tom Fodi over their opponent, the incumbent, Jim Scisciani (these three are all vying for TWO seats). Both Tom and Grant are gifted leaders with years of experiencing leading a variety of organizations. Grant is phenomenal business leader, responsible for the success and growth of dozens of Starbucks outlets throughout PA, WV, and OH. As if that responsibility wasn’t enough, Grant is also a member of a variety of boards and leadership teams including, but not limited to, Bellevue Initiative for Growth and the North Borough’s YMCA. Tom has served as an officer in the military, including tours in Iraq and Kuwait. He is also a pastor of a new church plant in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and founded/manages his own company here in Bellevue, Dignity Home Care Professionals. Both gentlemen are ready and waiting to serve and collaboratively lead our community to the heights it is fully capable of achieving.

In the coming days both Tom, Grant, and Aaryn will have opportunities to share with you about their unique, personal vision for Bellevue. If you have questions for the candidates, please feel free to comment below!


13 Responses to “The Train of Change is Ready to Roll On”

  1. Kathleen Krzywicki Reply October 14, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Thanks for this information.

  2. “For many years, decades even, Bellevue has had a reputation around the Pittsburgh region as a “difficult” community with which to work. Businesses packed up and left for greener pastures with arms open wide waiting for them.”

    Oh I don’t know about this. Bellevue has been very kind, even generous to commercial slumlords (I call them SCUMLORDS) like Doug Scheerer and family permitting them to do as they please without even a hint of repercussion or expectation of social responsibility. Heck, they don’t even have to pay taxes. They can run down property values, dump toxic chemicals and mock every effort to improve the community with impunity, and all with the blessing of Code Enforcement. Nice gig here in Bellevue for a scumlord.

  3. You probably remember me mentioning this before, or commenting on the previous post about needed changes for Bayne Park. But one of my biggest pet peeves is the outdated playground equipment at Bayne. Is there any plans by any candidates to either apply grants or come up with budget money (which I know the Borough is short on) in order to update the equipment? Also, I do like Tom Fodi’s ideas for changes he plans from a previous post to make the park accessible to dog walkers to get more foot traffic in the park.

  4. Bellevue will soon be developing a Master Plan for all of our parks. Two public input sessions will be scheduled within the next several weeks. The parks included are Bayne, Memorial and Gillott. Also, Bellevue has now passed a “No Smoking” ordinance for Bayne Park, so you should soon see “Young Lungs At Play/No Smoking” signs going up soon. The signs are costing the borough nothing as we are receiving those through the Allegheny County Live Well program.

  5. Henry, those “Young Lungs At Play/No Smoking” signs at an outside facility are nonsense and emblematic of the thinking of minds that want to create legislation simply because they can’t stand to leave things alone and not be able to put their “mark” on something during their tenure. We do not need more stupid laws criminalizing non criminal behavior. Concentrate on things that will have a positive effect on the community like paving Orchard Avenue between North Balph and Union. Orchard Avenue is a highly traveled route bringing traffic into the north end of Bellevue from Interstate 279 and is really an embarrassment.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more Bill. The outdoor smoking ban is meaningless in that it solves no known ongoing problem, hardly enforceable, and is merely another way to pit neighbor against neighbor.

    • I’ve got absolutely no problem with banning smoking in public parks. Smoking is a dirty, noxious, unhealthy habit and I can imagine the only people who would oppose a ban would be people who smoke. I’m an ex and we’re the worst.

      As for paving Orchard Ave, NO THANK YOU. Traffic is heavy enough and speeding has always been an issue. I see no reason to encourage heavier and even faster traffic. Paving Orchard would be very costly and I’d rather see the cash spent on Lincoln. Sorry Bill, but you’re batting zero in my book on these non-starters.

  6. I have spoken to numerous residents of Bellevue who applaud the “No Smoking” ban in Bayne Park, particularly mothers of young children who have had to leave the playground area because of the smoke drifting up from the skateboard plaza and elsewhere in the park. Also, patrons of the library have also complained about all the smoking around Bayne Library. If you do some research, many municipalities have followed similar paths to Bellevue, including the City of Pittsburgh. It is in the best interest of the health of our children – who can disagree with that?

    • You’re telling me the smoke from a single cigarette of a person in the skate park is lingering long enough and in strong enough concentration to effect the people playing some 50+ yards away?! If that’s the case we getter ban outdoor smoking throughout the entire borough because rogue smoke is going to harm every man, woman, and child who happens to venture outdoors. It’s ludicrous to believe that this is an essential issue facing our borough at this time. While our property values are waning, our business district barely surviving, and our community losing more desirable ppl than we bring in on an annual basis, this issue shouldn’t even be on our radar. That’s the problem.

  7. I’m ending my comments with this post, but it is possible to tackle numerous issues at the same time, that’s why Bellevue has committees including Parks & Recreation, Public Safety, Finance and Public Works. Any and everyone is welcome to attend the meetings to see what goes on. At this past Tuesday’s pre-council meeting there was not a single resident in the audience, including any of the candidates for Bellevue council that we may be electing in several weeks. As for the cigarette smoke in the park, the slides are much less than 50 yards away from the skateboard park and the smokers – yes, it is not a single cigarette – are throughout the park. And let’s not even talk about the cigarette packs and butts that are strewn throughout the park – beneath the swings, by the teeter-totter, in the gazebo, everywhere! I look forward to welcoming the new members of council so they can better appreciate the process. As I’ve said before, it is easy to snipe from the sidelines; it is a lot different when you are in the game.

  8. Henry, I’ve been following this thread of comments with interest. I wasn’t going to comment personally until I read your final note. I agree it is possible to tackle more than one thing at a time, but I’ve attended more meetings than most of our elected council members this year (I’ve missed a total of four according to my count), and I know this current council is hard pressed to spend significant time on anything outside of a single pressing issue. I’ve never seen a group of people get more focused on an insignificant issue ad naseum than this group. I’m praying that is something we can change next year.

    Finally, I wanted to clarify your “no council candidates attended” statement. Again, I’ll remind you and everyone in this forum that I have attended more Pre-Council and Regular Council meetings than many of our currently elected representatives. It is true I missed this past Tuesday’s meeting. It was a difficult choice to be absent, but I made it because my wife is 9 months pregnant with my son who should be coming at any moment now. I hope that excuses my absence this one time.

  9. Tom Fodi is correct in that he has attended more pre-council and council meetings than some current council members. He also regularly comments on matters before council. Grant Saylor is also a frequent attendee. I believe Tom Hrynda has been in the audience for one council meeting. I have yet to see Aaryn Hogue at any meeting. I say this having the best attendance record of any current council member, having only missed a total of three meetings – one pre-council, one Public Safety Committee and one budget meeting – in my nearly two years on council.

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