Two Blairsville residents are challenging each other for one borough council seat in the First Ward on the Democratic ballot.
Blairsville Mayor Joe Caugherty has two years of experience as a borough councilman. He also is seeking re-election for mayor.
He is challenging Paul Fodor, a Blairsville resident of 15 years.
Fodor is running for council because he has an interest in it. A couple people approached him, he said, and told him it would be a good idea to run.
“They said maybe I should consider running and I thought, hey, let’s give it a shot,” he said.
Fodor said he has no prior experience in local government and that he has no agenda “except just for the good of the town.”
“Sometimes people get on council for their own agendas,” and that’s not his intention, he said.
One issue he said he’s running for is the downtown district and “getting a grocery store in this town.”
“It has to be tough on the seniors to catch a bus all the way out to Walmart and back,” said Fodor, who used to work for a senior care home.
“It would be nice to have a grocery store right in town” to ease that burden, he said.
Another issue that concerns Fodor is the town’s drug problem, he said. He hasn’t yet researched the issue in depth, he said, but “apparently there is a problem here.”
“Someone brought to my attention that there are needles in the street” and it’s an issue that needs to be addressed, he said, which he would do if elected.
Fodor said he also would like to see Blairsville revitalized and put “sort of on the same level” as Indiana and Mount Pleasant, which is “geared a bit toward Indiana’s setup.”
Fodor said businesses have mainly died out in a lot of the smaller towns, and he doesn’t want to see Blairsville become one of them. He hopes to be able to be part of the effort to bring new endeavors to the area and mold the town into a setup like Indiana’s.
“I always admire downtown Indiana. I think it’s a cool little town with all its little shops, and I want to see Blairsville like that, too.”
Fodor has been a fireman with the Blairsville fire department for 12 years. He serves as second vice president and is on the department’s board of trustees.
He also served in the United States Army for eight years. Fodor is a member of the Elks, VFW and American Legion. In addition, he is a custodian and faithful member of First United Methodist Church in Derry.
Fodor and his wife, Lisa, have two children.