Thursday, March 2, 2023

Democrat Rita Anczarski Baldino Announces Candidacy for Schuylkill County Commissioner

On Sunday, Rita Anczarski Baldino announced her candidacy for Schuylkill County Commissioner surrounded by her friends and family at the Fountain Springs Country Inn.

Anczarski Baldino grew up in Shenandoah and moved away decades ago and came back to Schuylkill County in 2019, where she now resides in Kline Township.

Living back in Schuylkill County, Anczarski-Baldino says she became concerned about the current leadership in the courthouse. 

“It has been embarrassing to read about the harassment lawsuit against one commissioner. Schuylkill government employees deserve better.” Anczarski Baldino hopes to use her combined theoretical and experiential knowledge of the human condition to bring dignity back to the courthouse. She also wants to make sure that all current policies support employees so they can do the important job of serving the citizenry in a safe and respectful work environment.

"In addition to the egregious allegations levied against one commissioner, the county finds itself in a long overdue reassessment because they were sued by The ‘Community Justice Project’ and lost the lawsuit. This reminded her of the neglect that the leadership team at Shenandoah Valley operated on." Anczarski Baldino said.

‘Kicking the can down the road’ is not a leadership style that Anczarski-Baldino says she believes in. She promises to address issues head on and deliver for the people who call Schuylkill ‘home.’

Another goal of hers is to review the contracts for wages and working conditions in the sheriff’s and Children and Youth offices. 

"I know some of the concerns that staff have brought before the Commissioner’s board room and what has been shared with me privately. While I don’t have a clear vision of what I can do as a newly elected Commissioner, I am publicly promising to take the concerns of county employees serious. I will aim to learn Contract law and labor concerns and make it a top priority should you choose to elect me." she said.

“Given the opportunity to serve as one of your commissioners, I promise to promote transparency and lead in a style that not only considers the immediate concerns before the county but potential long-term consequences. I will ‘Do Justice’ and try to the best of my ability to ‘walk humbly’ with those who have elected me.”

After growing up in Shenandoah, Rita went onto graduate from Marywood University and become a teacher at St. Patrick's in Pottsville.

After learning of the conditions of the Shenandoah Valley school system at the time, she would become a 6-year school board member, 2 years serving at President of the Board.

After her father and political mentor’s death, Rita decided to take a sabbatical leave and work with the homeless, mentally ill poor in Philadelphia. Daylesford Abbey in Paoli had just founded Bethesda Project to support this very important work. Having learned the importance of faith and family in the coal region, Rita found a like- minded partner in this church community and married Lonz Baldino. They continued to serve the homeless community by becoming ‘family to those who had none.’

Rita and Lonz adopted two children from Mexico and raised them in Chester County.  While raising the kids, Anczarski-Baldino continued her education to better serve her community as a Counseling Psychologist, earned at Immaculata University. A second advanced degree in Psychology was subsequently earned at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

After her husband’s death in 2018, a granddaughter asked Rita to come to the ‘mountains’ and go to school with her cousin. Pepa Baldino is a Junior at Nativity, having felt the love of family due to her grandparents constant trips ‘back home’ to every baptism, confirmation, birthday, communion, and graduation party that Rita’s coal region family scheduled.

After returning to full-time work, first for Children and Youth in Chester County, Rita then returned to teaching for the West Chester Area School District. She also ran a small private practice, helping the parents of children with disabilities navigate the Special Education landscape. Her professional career was put on hold in 2019 when she returned home to Schuylkill County.

Rita says she looks forward to having current Schuylkill County Commissioner, and fellow Democrat, Gary Hess as a running mate.