CAIOLINN ERTEL for Penn Hills Council

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ABOUT

ENVIRONMENT - A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE

Our environment has not received the attention it desperately deserves. Allegheny County has primacy over air pollution control. We need to make sure we have robust oversight and enforcement of polluters to restore our air quality. Recent studies indicate that more than 22 percent of the children in some Pittsburgh schools have asthma. That is more than double the National average. Asthma impacts learning as kids don't sleep well, they're tired, missing school often some must be hospitalized. Proper enforcement can curb the emissions of respirable particles, toxics, and other harmful pollution.
Because of late Title-V permits, point source polluters in our area were able to exceed the legal limits for far too long. Proper oversight means ensuring that our agencies are equipped to maintain current permits and prevent companies from exceeding legal limits. However, we shouldn't just be striving to meet statutory deadlines. We should be working with polluters to alleviate the barriers that prevent them from reducing their environmental impact.


FRACKING
Recent studies in Pennsylvania involving over a million babies have shown that fracking within a mile of residential communities is harmful to newborns. The State Supreme Court has acknowledged that fracking is an industrial activity. It is therefore unsuitable for fracking to occur in residentially-zoned areas or in our County Parks where the public goes for peace and enjoyment, not noise and pollution. If fracking is going to occur on industrial sites, then we better make sure we have the proper oversight and transparency to ensure it is done as safely as possible. The goal of fracking oversight should be to minimize its risk to our water supplies. That means that fracking fluid chemicals and radioactive produced waters need to be carefully monitored and safely handled. This can be treated in a way that both protects proprietary fracking fluid compositions and informs the public of local contaminants. Improper oversight of fracking could have devastating consequences that would further complicate our looming water crisis. Heather Heidelbaugh was not an "obstructionist" when she fought for due diligence, and council should have included further protections in the original fracking ordinance. The ordinance needs to be updated with recent findings.We should also have an easy-to-use online database for mineral rights data and to know the extent of past mine activities. With a quick search, you can see who bought your neighbor's home and for how much. You should be able to do the same to see who owns your neighbor's mineral rights. On County Council, I will propose transparency in mineral rights ownership and an online database where all mineral rights ownership information is accessible including overlay access to mine maps.The council should attempt to reach 100% renewable energy by working with energy-producers in our area.


CLEAN WATER

Lead, even in small doses in the human environment, damages developing brains of our children. Our government has swept the high lead levels in our drinking water under the rug for decades and made it worse through improper management and poor upkeep. We need to work with our local legislators to pass State Senator Wayne Fontana's legislation to provide some state funding to offset the financial burden to low-income homeowners. We should prioritize homes of pregnant women and young children, but ultimately, every lead line needs to be replaced. 
Pittsburgh's water crisis demonstrates the danger of privatization, especially when residents don't have the information they need to keep their families safe from lead-contaminated water. The council must take bolder action to gather data, inform the public, and prevent heavy metal poisoning before it occurs. 
I also want to stress the need for a systematic approach to this threat that is cost-effective and doesn't shift the burden on individual homeowners. Lead-testing for toddlers legislation was a start, but it fails to speak to a solution to infrastructure and public health threats. It sounded good, and most people supported it (aside from my opponent). However, it didn't go far enough, to address the crisis we're facing. We should be stopping lead exposure before, not after, toddlers are exposed.

JUSTICE REFORM

In addition to treating the overdose epidemic as a health issue instead of incarceration, our judicial system should take care to ensure its fair to all citizens, not just the wealthy. Oversight of our Sheriff's department and the Allegheny County Jail is critical just as is the criminal justice system needs unbiased eyes on their proceedings and procedures. All people should be treated equally regardless of race or wealth. 


Prisons are only a bandaid on a greater problem.  Our entire country is only putting bandaids on the symptoms, but not treating the diseases.  One of the diseases is poverty and racism.  It is near impossible for community to be without crime when poverty is rampant.  If elected I will work to eliminate poverty and along with anything that oppresses any group of people (e.g. Persons of Color, LGBTQA+, etc.).

CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL

We must end Racism in this country. For far too long this country has had a festering and systematic disease that has not been treated. While there have been attempts to bandage over the symptoms while not addressing the cause. County and state government can take active measures to foster diversity, to ensure our justice system becomes more "just," and to reform prisons making them institutions for rehabilitating those found guilty. The current system is unjust and costly. Starting with our County government, we can begin to address restorative justice.

REPRESENTING YOU, THE VOTER

Voters in district 7 are not aware they have representation on the council.  The council has violated the Pennsylvania Sunshine act as well a refusing to consider constituent let proposals. The Allegheny County Charter contains provisions for referendums as other legislative powers so the council can represent what you, the constituents, need and want.  Your vote empowers me to represent you, to work for you, and to listen to you.  


At present, its very difficult to find the information you need to keep track of Council's actions.  The Allegheny County web site is cumbersome and difficult to navigate and that has to change.  The Council lis your government and needs to be accessible and transparent.  As your Council Representative I promise I will not only listen to you but go into our communities to keep you informed and get your feed back.  

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

On County Council, I will fight for Tax-Increment Financing (TIF), and Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) grants to be used in the neighborhoods that need it, and I will be skeptical of luxury projects receiving taxpayer dollars, especially in areas that don't need those tax breaks. Projects should get tax breaks if they can bring something to the community such as affordable housing, jobs, or infrastructure. It.  When new development reached our area I will fight to endure that gentrification does not drive out those constituents less fortunate, and to endure affordable housing will be available to all of those in need.   

LASTLY 

As a retired Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS), ATC Supervisor, and FAA Manager I solved problems.  My entire working career, from aircraft in my sector, to managing one of the busiest areas in Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), to managing programs at Washington ARTCC, to my current position as a systems engineer, has been as a problem solver.  As Chair to the Leesburg Executive Airport Commission for 12 years I lead the airport to ensure that it remained prosperous and a major economic contributor to the county. I fought residential development that attempted to encroach on the airport that risked the airports economic viability and won the fight. 


When elected I will be open to EVERYONE....I will hold town halls periodically and make as many municipal meetings as I can. A vote for is sacred to me and I will do whatever I can to respect that privilege.

RECENT WORK

Systems Engineer - MITRE Corporation

I am a full time employee with MITRE and work from home. I travel some, usually once a month to the DC area for work. I love working for MITRE, very progressive and very good to their employees.

Chair of Leesburg Executive Airport Commission

Appointed my Leesburg Mayor, Kristen Umstattd to the commission and elected Chair for 10 years, then vice-chair for a few until I resigned and moved to Pittsburgh.  

Air Traffic Controller - Federal Aviation Administration

I worked for the FAA for almost 30 years as an air traffic controller, supervisor, and various upper management positions until I retired and went to work for MITRE.

Penn Hills Democratic Committee

Appointed by the chair for my first year and was elected this year in May.  My goal it to have a more progressive and inclusive committee that actually educates an tracks that our backed candidates vote in a way that supports our ideals and reflects the values of our community.  In this way, our committee members can actually assist educating the electorate.

Blog

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I was born in Williamsport, PA, graduated from Williamsport Area High School in 1979, and then went on to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where I graduated with a B.S. Magna Cum Laude in 1982 with Flight Instructor and Commercial Pilot ratings. Since graduating, I’ve worked as a flight instructor and commercial pilot, managed a restaurant, and was eventually hired to Federal Aviation Administration as an Air Traffic Controller. I worked as a controller for 19 years, a supervisor for 7 years, and then spent my last years in various upper management positions before retiring. I enjoyed my years as a controller, and my membership in NATCA (Controller’s union) impressed upon me the need for union advocacy to maintain the working conditions I enjoyed on the job at every operational level. The NATCA leadership was a joy to work with as they were only concerned in providing the best service to the flying public and improving working conditions.


While working in Leesburg, Virginia I served on several committees with the Town, and was appointed to the Leesburg Executive Airport Commission and served as Chair the first 10 years, then Vice-Chair and then Commissioner until resigning when I moved to Pittsburgh. I served on the Loudoun Symphony Board of Directors while in Leesburg as well as various ad-hoc pilot jobs flying various aircraft.


After retiring from the FAA I transitioned to MITRE Corporation in McLean Virginia as a Systems Engineer and have been there for over 10 years. MITRE allowed me to move to Pittsburgh in 2015 where I now reside and work from home. Given the freedom to work from anywhere in the country, I chose the city I had come to think of as my second home - with close family that I have been coming to visit since early childhood.


I have two children, Erin (18) and Stephen (25). Our family has rescued Irish Wolfhounds since 2000 and I currently have one rescue Irish Wolfhound (Maxx), one rescue Bullmastiff (Bella), and one rescue cat (Lou). I have been married for 30 years this December - but have been separated since 2015. I play the violin, am a professional photographer, and love my home in Penn Hills, PA.


My entire working career; from separating aircraft in my sectors, managing one of the busiest areas in Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), managing programs at Washington ARTCC, to my current position as a systems engineer. Every position has been centered around problem solving. As Chair to the Leesburg Executive Airport Commission for 12 years I lead the airport to ensure that it remained prosperous and a major economic contributor to the county. I fought residential development that attempted to encroach on the airport that risked the airport’s economic viability and won the fight. It is this continual drive to identify and solve problems that has led me to running for County Council in our 7th district, and when I am elected I will provide open and communicative leadership that hears the problems of the community and works to fix them. I am ready to be the problem solver our district and county, and offer leadership that responds to the concerns of all our residents.