By Jamie Wiggan
After retiring from the state legislature in 2016, political veteran Nick Kotik is looking to relaunch his public career as a Cranberry Township supervisor.
The former Robinson resident moved to Butler County two years ago and is now going to bat against development efforts that threaten his peaceful retirement plans.
“We’re afraid that the tranquillity that we desired when we bought into this over 55 community is going to change,” he said.
Kotik secured a place on the Democratic ticket through a write-in bid and will run alongside Karen Schroeder, a political first-timer also looking to break into the GOP-dominated township in November. The Democratic pair are contesting two seats held by incumbent Republicans seeking re-election.
“As a Democrat in Cranberry Township it’s a very very uphill climb,” Kotik said. “I would think you’d have a better chance of climbing Mount Everest.”
Kotik said he was persuaded to run by neighbors familiar with his political background who wanted someone to lead the anti-development charge.
He said concerns about overdevelopment have slowly risen during recent years, but a new ordinance under consideration that could accelerate the trend prompted a wave of public backlash earlier this year.
An online petition against the overlay ordinance has gathered nearly 900 signatures since it was created in February.
According to the Cranberry Eagle, residents spoke out at several township meetings in recent months expressing concerns the ordinance will cause traffic congestion, overpopulation and sinking housing prices.
Kotik said, regardless of the outcome of the race, he’s hoping to at least raise the profile of development concerns and put pressure on the incumbent leaders.
“Let’s use the election process as a way to get out our feelings about this,” he said.
Kotik began his political career in 1973 when he was elected to McKees Rocks council aged 22. He later worked in the office of former State Rep. Fred Trello and took over his seat in the 45th district upon his retirement in 2001. Between those posts, Kotik also served briefly as Robinson’s township manager.