LOCK HAVEN — After interviewing four contenders for a seat vacated by William “Bill” Mincer in May, Lock Haven City Council appointed Alexander “Alex” Di Costanzo, of Bellefonte Avenue, to the post. Di Costanzo, a Democrat, is running for a 4-year term on city council in the November election. He is currently running unopposed.
Councilman Steve Stevenson motioned to appoint Di Costanzo as a way to give him more experience with the job before his possible election in January 2022.
“I’d like to see him get a head start here,” Stevenson said.
Mayor Joel Long explained that if elected to the four-year term, Di Costanzo would shift into that position and the remaining two years of his current seat would be filled by another appointment.
Council members Doug Byerly, Richard Morris and Barbara Masorti all agreed with Stevenson and Di Costanzo’s appointment was approved unanimously by all members of council and Long.
City Manager Gregory Wilson said he will set up a time for Di Costanzo to be sworn into office, giving him the ability to vote at council’s next meeting.
Di Costanzo, a local businessman/entrepreneur, told council this was one of his first times getting involved in politics. One of the main drives behind his run for council and his submission for Mincer’s seat is to help city residents who are currently struggling. Specifically, those struggling to find employment due to a prior conviction or probation requirements.
“I operate a business here in town and what I’ve noticed with hiring is a lot of people in town are struggling with probation and trying to get back on their feet,” he said.
Di Costanzo said he and his wife, who owns a third party logistics company that deals in automotive parts in the city, frequently hires and works with individuals who have probation requirements or arrest records.
“We support that at the company my wife and I own. I want to work with other local businesses to give people these chances to work and be employed and fulfill their needs with probation and to get them back on their feet,” he said.
Di Costanzo said he feels it is the duty of business owners to help support those in need and help the city.
He also noted housing is something he would like to see improved as well.
“I had an employee that didn’t have a place to live at the end of the month (and) his best option was to go back to prison. In my eyes that’s awful,” Di Costanzo said. “I think housing is important because he truly didn’t have a place to live and I think it’s important to use that money to assist those low income needs.”
Di Costanzo said he has a degree in mechanical engineering and project engineering and wears many hats at his job.
“I onboard new clients, manage changing needs on a daily basis for all of our clients… and employees. I interface with all of our clients… I’m customer service,” he said.
He continued, noting he handles project management, ensures they are completed and have the proper resources to be done.
“That’s kind of my bread and butter,” he said.
Councilman Rick Conklin asked if Di Costanzo would be able to separate his personal bias from his job on council.
“Absolutely, we deal with that at my company as well… because as leaders we get personally invested in the lives of our employees,” Di Costanzo answered. “It’s an important part of my daily life putting aside my personal feelings on matters to do what’s right by the employee and our policy and making sure we follow the guidelines we set in place.”
Other candidates considered were Jeff Brinker, Nathan Kownacki and William McGill.
Stevenson encouraged the three to not give up just yet on participating in city government.
“Any of the unsuccessful candidates tonight or those that may be going to run for election, since they live in the city, we do…