Meet the candidates

Thanks to everyone who attended our virtual Town Hall on Oct. 25. We hope you found it informative and useful as you prepare to cast your ballots in the Nov. 2 election. Below is the introductory information that the candidates provided to C.C. Mellor.


Brooks Marzka, R, Mayor (4-year term)

Who he is:

“Brooks Marzka has been proud to call himself an Edgewoodonianite both before and after Bill Cosby was sentenced to jail. He’s witnessed 3 trees taken down on Maple Ave. He’s seen too many Woodland Hills seniors’ trick or treat without costumes. He’s experienced, but never proven to be the cause of, many power outages including the ones this summer. You may know him from his talked about parties, rumors of his misdeeds, his artistically painted vehicles, and/or his always classy representation at the Edgewood Progressive Dinner and Reception. Now, you will know him as the Republican candidate for mayor. … and while he is neither a Republican nor qualified to be the mayor, that’s not stopping him. … and if by chance he’s elected, no matter how devastating that would be for us all, he’ll do his best to make sure things get better in this little utopia we call home.”

His priorities as a candidate:

“As a politician, I feel obligated to make some unreasonable promises. Thus, if elected, we’ll eliminate taxes and print money to fund the following:

  • Moving walkways will replace our sidewalks.
  • We’ll build a retractable dome over Edgewood for when it rains and snows.
  • Taco Tuesday will be an official, work free, holiday for all.
  • Free massages whenever someone is having a bad day.
  • I’ll find whoever is breaking into the cars and tickle them until they agree to stop.
  • Everyone will live forever.

That seems like enough for now.

In closing, this vote is for our future as a borough. Choose wisely, but if you don’t, vote Marzka for Mayor in 2021…who knows what will happen if you do?!?!”

Ryan O’Donnell, D, Mayor (4-year term)

Ryan O’Donnell

Who he is:

“Ryan O’Donnell has lived in Edgewood for eight years. He is married to Edgewood native Emily Price and they are raising their daughter, Vivienne, in Edgewood. Ryan is a Clinical Social Worker and is the Executive Director of Nisar Health and Human Services. Ryan has been a member of Edgewood Borough Council for 4 years and is currently Vice President of council as well as Chair of the General Government Committee. Ryan is also head coach of Edgewood Recreational Youth Soccer, Team 6.”

His priorities as a candidate:

“Being the Mayor is all about Public Safety. As a member of Borough Council, I’ve worked closely with our Chief of Police on a range of goals including: providing body cams for our entire force, hiring a 9th full time officer, and promoting a member of our existing force to sergeant. With our fire chief, we’ve recently collaborated to purchase a new fire truck for our volunteers.

Short list of priorities:

· Collection of demographic information at traffic stops

· Dash cams

· Provide significant support to the fundraising efforts of the Volunteer Fire Department”

Brian Blasiole, D, Member of Council (4-year term)

Brian Blasiole

Who he is:

“I have lived in Edgewood for 15 years and raised 3 Edgewood-born children during that time with my wife.  I work at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as a Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist.  I don’t have prior political experience but hope to serve the Edgewood community on Council to preserve the character and services of Edgewood.”

His priorities as a candidate: 

“My priorities on council will focus on maintaining our excellent public works, police, and fire department.  I would also like to improve the appeal of Edgewood by focusing on the livability of our neighborhood.  These efforts would include expanding the recreation programs for children and adults, stronger enforcement of Borough ordinances for yard and property upkeep, and investigate mechanisms to control traffic through our streets.  All efforts to connect the residents and enhance the property and land value in Edgewood.” 

Mike Epitropoulos, D, Member of Council (4-year term)

Mike Epitropoulos

Who he is:

“I am a Pitt professor who has a history of public service and public sociology emphasizing community development.  I previously served on Edgewood’s Planning Commission and subsequently was an elected official in two other municipalities.”  

His priorities as a candidate:

“My priorities are to provide Edgewood residents a SAFE, VIBRANT and WELL-FUNCTIONING community.  What does that mean?

Top-Notch Emergency Services:  Police, Fire and Ambulance services.  This includes community service and interaction, and Edgewood has a strong history in this regard that I will work to maintain and enhance.

A dynamic, pro-active infrastructure and maintenance program.   Maintaining our streets, roads and sewage systems through seasonal elements (snow, leaves, etc.) and planning for future needs of the people.

Recreational and Health opportunities make a vibrant community.  Continue to maintain and grow our children’s and youth sports and recreational programs, enhance our adult sports opportunities at our parks and tennis courts, and offer health and wellness programming as much as possible.”

Jennifer Gleba, R, Member of Council (4-year term)

Jennifer Gleba

Who she is:

“I am a 20-year resident of Edgewood. My background includes a MS in Speech Language Pathology, BS in Speech and Hearing, and BA in Political Science with a concentration in Journalism. I have worked as a speech language pathologist in a variety of healthcare and educational settings throughout the United States, most recently at the Children’s Institute in Squirrel Hill. I am a mother to two lifelong Edgewood-raised teenagers. I served as a member of Edgewood Council from 2010-2013 and was chair of the General Government (finance) committee. I have also served on the Civil Service Commission. I was appointed by Council in April of this year to fill an open seat whose term expires at the end of the year.”

Her priorities as a candidate:

“As a Council member, my focus will be on the core functions of local government — public safety, effective general municipal services, and sustainable infrastructure, including appropriately maintaining and rebuilding roads and other public facilities. The borough requires a budget that balances the need to keep our millage rate competitive with other municipalities and the need to adequately provide for current and long-term expenses. A second focus will be to improve residents’ awareness of the issues and complexities facing the borough through Q&A with the borough council and administration and through regular communication in the newsletters.”

Ronan Jones, R, Member of Council (4-year term)

Ronan Jones will be unable to attend the town hall because of a prior commitment, but submitted the following information:

“I have lived in Edgewood for decades. I would like to help continue to maintain our community’s tremendous assets including our excellent police and fire departments. I would also like the opportunity to work with council to continue their outstanding job of making Edgewood a safe place people are proud to live in, be from and strive to move into. Finally, I too would like to help preserve the effort to maintain that neighborhood and its pride while continuing to operate with fiscal restraint.”

Bhavini Patel, D, Member of Council (4-year term)

Bhavini Patel

Who she is:

“Bhavini Patel is Cofounder and CEO of beamdata, a civic tech company that operates at the intersection of policy and data. Her company built Be the Change, a nonpartisan participatory civic action platform that allows people to share Community Causes in the form of neighborhood ideas and legislative feedback directly with their state legislators. In 2020, she was appointed to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and also served as a Biden Delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Bhavini currently volunteers her time as Vice Chair of the Edgewood Democratic Committee and serves on the Boards of several organizations including the University of Pittsburgh Master of Quantitative Economics Advisory Board, the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh, Civically Inc. and the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association. She’s been a proud resident of Edgewood since 2015. 

She earned an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar and a BPhil in International Area Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been recognized as 30 Under 30 by Pittsburgh Business Times, 40 Under 40 by Pittsburgh Magazine, and a finalist for the ATHENA Young Professional Award.”

Her priorities as a candidate:

“My core issue priorities are working with Borough Council members and the community to create opportunities for working individuals and families to get involved in the policymaking process. Various digital formats to tune in, share information and provide feedback could be beneficial in building stronger civic engagement, especially given the limitations presented with COVID-19. For example, there’s opportunity to create more dialogue and basic information sharing between School Board members, Borough Council and constituents. Additionally, it’s important to ensure safety and accessibility in the community as it relates to the police department and day-to-day infrastructure development and maintenance. I look forward to serving as a bridge between the community and leadership involved in both areas to ensure constituent needs are heard and addressed. Lastly, I look forward to learning how Council can support local businesses and organizations, so our community and neighboring areas have continued access to services. This list of priorities is not comprehensive. I am always available to chat and learn from community members. I can be reached at” 

Justin Petrolla, D, Member of Council (4-year term)

Who he is:

“My name is Justin Petrolla. I am a physician in a practice in the greater Pittsburgh area. The name of my practice is South Hills Orthopedic Surgical Associates but I am a nonsurgical orthopedic specialist. I am a physiatrist with board certifcations in sports and pain medicine. My undergraduate program, which was a combined BS/MD program started at YSU for 3 yrs then to NEOMED for medical school. I spent 4 yrs at UPMC in residency and then 1 year in York, PA for a fellowhsip. I have been practicing in PIttsburgh since 2011.

I have been an Edgewood resident since 2011. I have been on Edgewood Council now for 2 terms. My first term  I was a write in candidate and I wouldn’t be on council or involved if it wasn’t for Jack Bright, who sadly passed away this year. I have 3 kids and I coach most of their sports so that takes up most of my spare time but I am a very poor guitarist and slightly below average at chess. Before kids I was an avid history reader.  I do some cooking baking when time permits.”

His priorities as a candidate:

“I have always been interested in Politics from a young age. I met Jack Bright when we moved to Edgewood and really he convinced me to run and that’s how I got into Edgewood politics. I feel that I am pragmatic and at the local level that’s what’s needed. The only goals that I have when I entered office was to do what is the best for the Borough and its residents and that over arching goal hasn’t changed.”

Moshe Sherman, D, Member of Council (2-year term)

Moshe Sherman

George Fuller, D, Tax Collector (4-year term)

He writes: “Edgewood has had a very successful collection rate for years, and it is my aim to keep that rate percentage high.” 

Greg Evashavik, D/R, Constable, 6-year term)

Greg Evashavik is unable to attend due to a prior commitment.

He provided the following statement:

“I have resided in Edgewood Borough for 25 years with my wife Sherry. We raised our two daughters here and are proud to be members of the Edgewood community.

I have volunteered my time and legal services to the Borough for the last 20 years while serving on the Edgewood Borough Zoning Hearing Board. Over the years, we have participated in countless community events such as hosting the Edgewood Newcomers Reception in our home in addition to numerous Progressive Dinners.

I currently serve as the Edgewood Borough Constable and have done so for the past 12 years. I serve in an unpaid capacity. I am a strong proponent of law enforcement and our local Police Department. My goal is to maintain the safety and peacefulness that we all enjoy as residents in this community.”

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