State Sen. Dominc F. Pileggi last week announced his intention to run for another term and he received the Chester County Republican Party endorsement to do so.Pileggi, the former mayor of Chester, has been representing the 9th Senatorial District since 2002 when he won a special election to fill the vacancy left by the death of former state Sen.
He won a regular term in 2004 and has risen quickly in the ranks of the senate becoming senate majority leader in his first full term.
But Pileggi declined talking about that rise saying the members of the Republican caucus who vot ed for him are better suited to explain why he became the leader.
He did say, though, "I've always tried to be direct, clear and straight forward with my colleagues and constituents."
One of his focuses when he was first elected was the need to learn about the rural Southern Chester County side of a district that begins in the oil refinery area of Marcus hook in Delaware County, then into the mushrooom and dairy farm regions of Chester County.
"My relationship with the community, the rural and suburban has been excellent," he said, adding that he's received as much support from people in the southern portion of the district as from the north.
Pileggi declined to comment on what he's learned about himself during these first six years, instead wanting to focus on what he's learned about the district.
"It's a diverse district, from dairy farms to oil refineries. And my challenge was to represent these different points of view."
What he as learned, he said, is that there's less difference than one might expect.
"All the residents have a common interest in improving their quality of life, preventing sprawl."
During the current term in office, Pileggi has pushed for SB1, the Open Records Law.
He said he saw the need for amending state laws regarding open records because there had been no changes with it for 50 years. Yet there have been many changes in technology and in people's attitudes toward government in that time.
It's to "combat cynicism. There should be no mystery or suspicion about government actions," Pileggi said.
The idea behind SB1 is to establish a presumption of openness regarding the records from all three branches of government and that those records should be open for public inspection. There would be some "clearly delineated exceptions" to that, he added.
Those exceptions involve individual privacy such as employment records.
The bill is back before the senate for concurrence or amendments after being amended by the state House.
He said some of the amendments generated by the House weren't for the better.
"We need to find out what amendments are needed ... and need the House to go along with [the Senate's] recommended changes.
He hopes the bil will get to the governor's desk this week.
Pileggi said it's difficult to predict what the hot issues will be over the next four years, but wants to focus on restoring the public's confidence in the governmental process and to tackle the issue of school funding, an issue he calls "multi-faceted."
"We need to look at how public education is financed [needing to] determine the proper roll of state and local taxes."
He also said the state needs to do everything it can to protect open space and environment.
He said one way is to reinvest in the infrastructure of the older communities.
Pileggi will be challenged in the general election by John Linder, a Delaware County Community College professor who got the Chester County Democratic Party endorsement last weekend.