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Former Pittston Area school director to run for controller

Anthony Rostock the second to announce; three others considering run for post.

Former Pittston Area School Board member Anthony Rostock said he will run for Luzerne County Controller on May 19.

Rostock, 59, of Yatesville, will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat that has been vacant since Maryanne Petrilla became a county commissioner last year.

Democrat Russ Bigus, 37, of Dallas Township, has also declared his candidacy. Two other Democrats -- Bob Morgan, 46, of Mountain Top, and Wil Toole, 65, of Pittston – are also seriously considering runs.

Attorney Nanda Palissery, a Republican, is also considering seeking the post.

Rostock served as a Yatesville councilman for six years and was on the Pittston Area School Board for 16 years before losing his re-election bid in 2005.

An educator for 35 years, Rostock owned a landscaping business for 30 years and currently owns AJ Consulting in Pittston.

AJ Consulting was recently in the limelight for being paid more than $30,000 through a no-bid contract to provide landscape consulting services at Luzerne County Community College’s Public Safety Training Institute. Rostock has insisted he did not use his relationships with college trustee board members to secure the job.

Rostock said he would be a full-time controller.

“That’s very important,” Rostock said.

He said the public wants someone who will look out for their interests.

“There are certain things that have happened when the previous controller was there, things that should have been seen,” Rostock said, referring to Petrilla. “Even shortcomings in the county budget – that should have been seen years in advance.”

Rostock said he’s not criticizing employees in the controller’s office.

“I blame the people running the show,” he said.

He said he’s been “all over the county” working on a “grassroots” campaign for controller.

The controller is responsible for making sure all expenditures are properly approved and documented.

The controller also holds a powerful seat on the county’s Salary Board, which sets non-union salaries and creates and eliminates jobs. The controller also serves with the commissioners and treasurer on the Retirement Board, which oversees the employee pension fund.

The county prothonotary and register of wills seats are also up for grabs in May. Candidates may circulate nominating petitions from Feb. 17 to March 10, according to the county election bureau.

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