|Address||1529 Terrace Boulevard |
Hazleton, Pennsylvania 18201, United States
|| January 28, 1956
Aug 30, 2018 03:50pm
|Info||Louis J. Barletta |
Born and raised in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Lou Barletta learned the value of hardwork at an early age. Lou worked side by side with his father Rocky, mother Angeline and his three brothers in the family business - A. Barletta and Sons Road Construction, and Barletta Heating Oil.
After graduating from Hazleton High School and attending Luzerne County Community and Bloomsburg State Colleges, Lou left school early to pursue a major-league baseball career, trying out with the Cincinnati Reds. He jokes that his inability to hit a curve ball led him back to Hazleton.
Once home, Lou married the former MaryGrace Malloy. The couple have four daughters: Kelly, 27; April 26; Lindsey, 23; and Grace, 21.
In 1984, Lou and MaryGrace founded Interstate Road Marking Corp., a pavement marking business. Starting with just small spray paint cans they built IRM into the largest pavement marking contractor in Pennsylvania.
By the mid-1990s, Lou became concerned about the direction Hazleton was heading. And even though the city was overwhelmingly Democrat, Lou campaigned for and won a seat on city council - the only elected Republican on the five-member board.
It was during his first term that Lou saw that, despite his best efforts, Hazleton’s stability was still slipping away. Lou knew he had to do more.
Lou ran for mayor on a platform of bringing business sense into city government. Lou won by a 2-1 margin.
When Lou took office in January 2000, Hazleton was in worse shape than anyone realized, with a large deficit and budget shortfall. Hazleton had illegal contracts with all four of its unions. There was a general lack of communication and accountability at virtually every level of the city’s government. Layoffs seemed like the only option.
Demonstrating the leadership and courage that has marked his entire life, Lou went right to work. He and MaryGrace sold Interstate Road Marking (by that time, the nation’s sixth largest company of its type) so he could focus his full attention on fixing the city’s problems.
Within the first few months of 2000, Hazleton was in the middle of a complete turnaround.
Through prudent fiscal management and tough choices, the entire budget shortfall was erased. All four contracts were renegotiated. Hazleton earned the Governor’s Award for Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices.
Hazleton’s turnaround became one of the best municipal success stories in the entire state of Pennsylvania.
And when an influx of illegal immigration threatened the financial foundation of the city and brought gang violence, drugs and crime to peaceful neighborhoods, Lou never hesitated or waivered. Lou stood up, passed one of the toughest illegal immigration ordinances in the country and again brought the city back from the brink.
Lou Barletta is a leader with a proven record and the courage to stand up for a better Northeast Pennsylvania and America.
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