Independent files for two spots in Wilkes-Barre in upcoming general election

By Jerry Lynott - [email protected] | August 5th, 2015 4:00 pm - updated: 4:00 pm.

WILKES-BARRE — Voters will have another choice for two city posts in the upcoming general election, with Linda Urban announcing her candidacy as an Independent candidate for controller and council.

Urban, 63, of the Parsons section, will face Democrat Darren Snyder in the controller’s race and Bill Barrett, also a Democrat, for the District D council seat in the Nov. 3 general election.

If elected controller, Urban said she would work full time and provide taxpayers an open, honest and ethical government.

“I know I can handle this job very well. I’m very well versed in government,” she said.

As for the council seat, Urban said, “I will do my very best there as well.”

Neither she nor her family is a stranger to politics. She ran for mayor and city council. Her husband, Luzerne County Council member Stephen A. Urban, finished third in the May 19 primary as a Democrat in the city controller’s race. Her stepson, Stephen J. Urban who also is a county council member, won the primary as a Republican for the District C city council seat and will face Democrat Beth Gilbert.

If she wins both posts, Urban said she would become controller and a committee would be put together to fill the council seat.

Urban, who is retired, does not have an accounting or financial background. A mother and grandmother, Urban said she is a graduate of Luzerne County Community College, attended the State University of New York and is a founding member of the Wilkes-Barre City Taxpayers Association. She said she has built and renovated houses and is a landlord and those experiences give her the skills to do the controller’s job.

If elected, she plans to be hands-on reviewing bills, payrolls and contracts and will attend all city council meetings in the event a taxpayer has a question about the controller’s office.

“I want to see everything, ” she said, adding that income and expenses will be scrutinized.

She advocates establishing separate accounts for every fee paid to the city and promises to be available to taxpayers and the media.

“I will have a financial report prepared at the end of every year for mayor and council,” she said.

Urban’s election as a controller would be a plus for the city, she said. This year’s city budget listed the controller as the lowest paid position in the department with an annual salary of $48,150. The deputy controller was budgeted at $69,677 and an auditor/computer clerk at $51,817.

Linda Urban Urban

By Jerry Lynott

[email protected]

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLNews