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By TOM OBRZUT; Times Leader Correspondent

Tuesday, February 09, 1993     Page: 1D QUICK WORDS: CONNORS ANNOUNCES RE-ELECTION BID

SCRANTON -- Mayor Jim Connors says he's been fighting for the people of Scranton for three years. Now he's asking the city's voters to fight for him.
    Before a crowd of more than 300 people at the Best Western University Inn Sunday, Connors announced that he will run for re-election.
    "Jim Connors fights for the people and perhaps, more importantly, Jim Connors listens to the people," he said.
    Connors, a Republican, faces opposition from Scranton policeman Robert Sheridan for the GOP nomination in the May primary. Lackawanna County Administrator Jerry Stanvitch and Robert "Ozzie" Quinn have announced their intentions to seek the Democratic nomination.
    "It is very simple why I want to continue to be your mayor," Connors said. "I love our city, I love the people of Scranton and I want to continue to serve you."
    He said he made three promises when he was running for mayor. He promised to build the $101 million Mall at Steamtown, keep taxes down and professionalize the police department.
    "Those are the only promises I made to the people and I have kept my promises," Connors said.
    A former Democrat, Connors defeated Democratic favorite Jerry Notarianni by more than 1,500 votes in 1989. In a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2.5-to-1, Connors got about 15,000 votes to Notarianni's 13,500.
    He said the city of 81,000 has been through several financial and economic crises in the past 10 years, but the city has come out stronger.
    "I believe that the tough times are over in Scranton," Connors said. "It's an exciting time to live in Scranton."
    Late in 1992, when the city stood at the brink of bankruptcy, Connors refused to sign an economic recovery plan drafted by the Pennsylvania Economy League (PEL) which was endorsed by the five-member city council. He finally agreed to implement the plan in late December.
    Connors was opposed to the plan because the PEL recommended the city's garbage fee be increased $25 in 1993 from $50 to $75 per year. Since he took office in January 1990, he has not raised taxes.
    "After three years of the Connors' administration, nothing has changed," Stanvitch said.
    He said incompetence at city hall continues to cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
    Sheridan, an eight-year veteran of the city's police force, said the Connors administration has led Scranton to distressed-city status. He said Connors' plan to cut the number of employees in several city departments will lead to higher taxes.
    "The citizens of the city of Scranton will be paying more taxes for half the services," he said.
    Sheridan unsuccessfully ran for city council as a Democrat in 1981 and 1983. He said he switched parties to challenge Connors because the GOP primary will provide a better forum for getting his ideas across.
    Jim Connors
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