Mayor of the Year
Michael A. Lombardo
Mayor of the City of Pittston
In 1997, Michael A. Lombardo sought to be the mayor of the City of Pittston because he was troubled by the decline of the city he loved so well and he wanted to reverse its decay. It did not matter to him that he was up against a formidable political machine or that, if elected, he would make history as the youngest person ever to be elected mayor in his city. Michael Lombardo was running to make positive changes in Pittston and after his historic election as mayor, he has never stopped working to improve the City of Pittston through to the present day.
"Mayor Mike" as he is affectionately known by his constituents, served two terms as mayor and 12 years later, in 2017, he was re-elected mayor and continues to be so. The initiatives and accomplishments of Mayor Lombardo can be seen throughout the City of Pittston and involve all aspects of civic life from business to housing to public amenities.
When Mayor Lombardo was first elected, his first priority was the revitalization of Pittston’s Central Business District (CBD). During his tenure in office, there has been significant investment of public and private funds in the CBD including a muti-million-dollar investment in streetscape projects coupled with sewer and water infrastructure improvements. The result has been a dramatic turnaround in CBD;s appearance from a dilapidated business district to a vibrant commercial city center.
With regard to the City of Pittston's housing stock, Mayor Lombardo recognized that a majority of residential properties were old and disproportionately rental units so he set a goal to improve the housing stock and implemented a Neighborhood Housing Initiative. Under his leadership, code enforcement in the City was significantly increased; a multi-municipal land bank, the Northeast Pennsylvania Land Bank Authority, was formed; the Pittston City Blight Board was created and a Neighborhood Action Team was organized to schedule periodic code enforcement and quality of life inspections throughout all City neighborhoods. As a result of his efforts, the quality of the housing stock has increased substantially.
To raise the quality of life for City residents and attract visitors from outside the City, Mayor Lombardo led the City government to invest in arts and cultural events and revitalize the City's extensive park system. There is an active special events calendar that includes the Second Friday Art Walk held monthly from May to October. The weekly farmers' market held every Tuesday from July through Thanksgiving was reenergized. The Art E Fekts Gallery, a vibrant mural program, and the erection of sculpture in public spaces have all been championed by Mayor Lombardo.
Mayor Lombardo has been an active member of many local and regional nonprofit organizations outside of City government. Presently, he is a member of the Downtown Pittston Partnership, Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, Pittston City Festival Association Board, Pittston City Housing Authority, Pittston Memorial Library Board, and the Art E Fekts Gallery Board. In the past, Mayor Lombardo has been a member of the City of Pittston Redevelopment Authority, City of Pittston Home Rule Study Commission, Downtown Tomorrow Board, Leadership Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County Community College Foundation Board, Luzerne County Diversity Task Force, Luzerne County Drug and Alcohol Study Commission, Luzerne County Municipal Cooperation Committee, Luzerne Foundation, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, Scranton Tomorrow and Susquehanna Greenways Partnership.
Mayor Lombardo's leadership and influence extends well beyond the boundaries of the City of Pittston and region of Luzerne County. In 2007, he was appointed the Director of Governor Ed Rendell’s Northeast Office, a position that he held four years. Presently, he is the President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League and a member of the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania State Mayors' Association.
For his many accomplishments and the exemplary manner in which he has held the office of mayor, the PSMA calls upon all mayors to recognize and congratulate Mayor Michael Lombardo as our 2022 "Mayor of the Year."
View the previous Mayor of the Year winners