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Lansford council race includes two former mayors

Five candidates are seeking three seats on Lansford Borough Council.

The democratic nominees are former mayor Bob Silver, former councilman/Mayor Joseph Genits, and Marie Ondrus.

Republican nominees are incumbent Martin Ditsky and Irma Leibensperger.

Silver is also the democratic nominee for mayor, after defeating incumbent James Romankow. He will face Republican Ronald Derr Jr. in that race.

Silver and Genits did not respond in time for our deadline.

Marie Ondrus

Bio: Marie started volunteering with the Panther Valley Public Library years ago when its board reorganized when the library would have otherwise closed its doors.

Having been elected president of the board, she and her colleagues received a $25,000 grant from state Rep. Keith R. McCall; started the tax preparation program for senior citizens there; and helped to form the St. Luke’s Miners Diabetes and St. Luke’s Children’s Reading program.

A founder of the Lansford Alive Events Committee, Marie helped establish the Christmas in the Park and Music in the Park programs as well as house decorating contests.

She plays an active role in revitalizing her love of Kennedy Park.

She said, “As a member of council I will work to bring transparency back to Lansford’s operations, reduce excessive spending, enforce moving permits and improving the town’s infrastructure.

The Quality of Life ordinances need to be updated and enforced.

Also, landlords should be held accountable for their properties. If they buy properties they need to fix them and not let them deteriorate.

Irma Leibensperger

Bio: The widow of Robert J. Leibensperger, she and her late husband owned and operated the Daily Catch restaurant in Lansford for over 25 years.

She served on the original board of the Panther Valley Visiting Nurse Association and previously served as president of the Carbon-Tamaqua Unit of the American Cancer Society.

She served on the borough’s Civil Service Commission and a past treasurer of the town’s Recreation Board.

She co-founded the Lansford Alive Events Committee, helped to establish Music in the Park and Christmas in the Park programs, and oversees the judging of decorations for the Autumn Harvest/Halloween and Christmas seasons.

She was an original member of the Lansford Improvement Committee, raising money for Christmas streetlights in the town and Lansford Park.

Irma’s goal is to apply for Homeland Security funding to provide our police department with training and state of the art technology.

To keep residents and police officers safe.

To revitalize our community by bringing businesses back to Lansford which will generate tax revenue that will help balance our budget.

Martin S. Ditsky

Bio: Registered Republican, member of St. John the Baptist Byzantine Church, graduate of St. Michael the Archangel School, Marian Catholic and Kutztown State College, B.S. in education, English major and speech minor, AT&T School of Business.

Retired from AT&T International Headquarters, New Jersey as network engineer and project manager Lansford representative on the Carbon County Council of Governments.

Only member of council to have a listed telephone number where I can be reached. Wrote the borough garage application for the LSA funding grant.

Wrote grants for CDGB fund to repave some of the borough streets; will continue to apply for CDBG grants and use state fund for the streets In process of working with USDA Rural Dev. to secure a loan to complete borough garage, which is very much needed.

Aim: to continue to improve the town addressing issues as blight, be available for small businesses and families to relocate to the town.

Many opportunities for areas of improvement throughout the town.


Ronald Derr Jr.

Bio: I am a 1991 Tamaqua Area High School graduate as well as a 2004 graduate from LCCC.

I am happily engaged having five children residing in the Panther Valley school district.

I am a longtime resident of Lansford having been a Panther Valley knee-hi coach, a Lansford Little League coach and a Cubmaster for the Lansford Boy Scouts.

I am a past member of the Lansford fire department. I am a member of the Carbon Lodge 242 of Free and Accepted Masons. I am also an active member with the Grace Community Church of Lansford.

Goals: My goals if elected the Lansford mayor will to be to work with the various organizations to bring family and social gatherings to the community.

To cooperate with the local businesses to bring commerce and prosperity to our town.

I will support the Lansford police department to make our neighborhood safe and provide a sense of well-being for our loved ones.

If elected, my intent is utilize my knowledge and community involvement to help make Lansford strive to be a beautiful place to call home.