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Gary Herbert

The race for the Mayor of Greensburg just became a little more crowded.

Today, Gary Herbert stepped into the ring announcing his intention to seek the Republican nomination for mayor in the upcoming May primary. Herbert will run against fellow Republican Charles Buell as well as Democratic candidates Mayor Frank Manus and local businesswoman Jean Johannigman.

A lifelong resident of Greensburg, Herbert said a current trend of decreased communication and increased frustration prompted his decision.

“I’d like to see a different style of leadership in the city,” Herbert said. “The next four years may be the most important in Greensburg’s history for growth and leadership is very important. The city and the county must work together in order for us to move forward. I will strive to develop and improve relationships with county officials and improve communications, which is a must for this city and county to be successful in its endeavors.”

Currently a Democrat on the City Council, representing the Fourth District, the straight-speaking Herbert said he has long been a Republican. However, the Democrats asked him to run for the seat, which he accepted because he said it gave him the opportunity to serve the citizens of Greensburg . Throughout the last three years, he said he hopes he has achieved that goal of giving the people a voice in the Council meetings.

“As City Councilman, I have taken time away from my business in order to find out how the constituents of the Fourth District wanted me to vote on issues facing this city. I have worked hard to make sure their voices were heard,” he said.

In addition, Herbert represents the city as a member of the Area Plan Commission as well as holding positions on the Abatement Committee and the Comprehensive Plan Committee. In order to serve on these Boards, he often held open meetings with his constituents and made time on a number of occasions to visit with them at their homes and businesses to fully understand their concerns. However, he said his time on the Council and other Boards has left him feeling limited.

“There are a lot of things I can’t do as a single Councilman,” he said. “As Mayor of Greensburg, I will lead the city through its greatest challenges yet to come and set the course for its future, and I will not close the door on anyone."

Herbert feels he has the right mix of personal and professional experiences to be able to represent the people of Greensburg as it emerges as a player on the global economic stage.

Herbert presently owns and operates Herbert’s Truck and Van Accessories on North Carver Street , which he started in 1983. His work history includes Assembly Supervisor for GECOM, where he spent time in Japan for start-up training in 1987 and again in 1989.

His time in Japan helped him to have a much better understanding of the Japanese culture; something he believes is important as the city welcomes Honda and continues to grow with other businesses carefully examining the area.

While at GECOM, Herbert was promoted through the ranks until he was responsible for managing four in-house departments while being responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining manufacturing and financial budgets. He was previously employed by American Manufacturing of Greensburg as an electrical hydraulics specialist and assembly supervisor.

His time at GECOM, and in Japan , has given him a certain respect for the Japanese. He noted he understands their culture while rattling off a number of Japanese phrases, which helps to “break the ice”  with businessmen from the Asian island who recognize them as a sign of respect.

As the Greensburg peers into the future, Herbert sees a number of seams showing; issues that need mending for future.

"The last thing we want to be is a city facing tough economic times and conditions," Herbert said. "Even though we seem to be on the verge of being a booming city, and the future looks bright, we need to be in a position that will allow Greensburg to continue its prosperity while maintaining our small-town atmosphere and values we have grown to love. I look forward to explaining to the citizens of Greensburg about my vision."

Water seems to be the most important issue facing the city currently. However, Herbert feels there is an array of problems that need to be broached quickly.

“There are so many things that need to be addressed. We need to start being proactive instead of reactive. We can start with the easy things first and work on the more complicated things along the way,” Herbert said. “As you work on the simple things, the complicated things begin to get worked out.”

For Herbert, the most important thing is keeping the door open, he noted. He wants to ensure residents have an active voice in City Hall, one that will listen and fight for them.

Herbert graduated from Greensburg High School in 1966 and has been married to Sharon for 38 years. The couple has two children, Andrew and Amy, and five grandchildren. He is also a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Church in Greensburg.

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