Waynesburg mayor appointed county commissioner

December 11, 2012
Blair Zimmerman

WAYNESBURG – The mayor of Waynesburg Borough, Blair Zimmerman, was appointed by Greene County Court Tuesday to serve the remaining term of former county Commissioner Pam Snyder.

Snyder resigned from the board Nov. 30 after being elected earlier that month to represent the 50th Legislative District in the state House.

Zimmerman, Waynesburg mayor for the last nine years, was one of 16 people who sent letters to the court expressing interest in the position, according to Greene County President Judge William Nalitz.

Nalitz said he and Judge Farley Toothman had discussed each of the applicants and were in agreement on the appointment. Zimmerman will serve the remaining three years of Snyder’s term, which expires in December 2015.

“I want to thank both of the judges for the appointment. I’m really looking forward to the next three years,” Zimmerman said Tuesday.

He said his first step will probably be to get a little more acquainted with county government.

“I’ll have to talk to the other commissioners and be brought up to speed on all the projects. There will be a learning curve,” he said.

Zimmerman currently is employed at Cumberland Mine. However, he said, he would retire sometime in late winter, which will allow him to serve as a full-time commissioner.

Though he has no set agenda, Zimmerman said, he would like to work on issues relating to economic development. “It’s one of the things that interest me,” he said: “trying to keep our heads above water and keep our taxes from skyrocketing.”

Zimmerman, an avid runner and cyclist, said he also has an interest in recreation and speaks of its importance especially in attracting new people to the county.

“I might not be able to fix everything,” Zimmerman said. “But I’m the kind of person that if somebody has a problem I will always make the effort to see what it is and if there is anything I can do to help.”

Zimmerman had run unsuccessfully for commissioner in the spring 2011 Democrat primary and in six-person race placed third behind Snyder and Commissioner Charles Morris.

Morris said he was pleased with the court’s choice. “I got to know Blair during the primary last year and I believe he will be very conscientious in his role as a commissioner,” Morris said.

“I believe he is someone who will keep uppermost in his mind the best interests of the county and I look forward to him joining the board of commissioners.”

The names of others who had submitted letters of interest to the court were not released. It was not certain that all of them had wanted that information disclosed, Nalitz said.

Zimmerman, 59, is a lifelong resident of Greene County. He has been a member of the United Mine Workers for 35 years.

As mayor, Zimmerman helped secure federal and state funding for the streetscape project and for other projects including the borough skate park, Waynesburg Commons and for the street and police departments. He also worked to try to obtain money for borough streets and sidewalks damaged by heavy trucks serving the natural gas drilling industry.

Zimmerman also has been active in the community. He has served as a president of Greene County Habitat for Humanity and is a former board member of Relay for Life and the Greene County United Way. He also is a retired member of the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Co.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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