HAWLEY - Orlando Marrero, a Hawley resident and lock smith, is running for Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 139th District.

HAWLEY - Orlando Marrero, a Hawley resident and lock smith, is running for Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 139th District. The Democrat states that his desire is to be able to “lift people up and give them hope” in terms of economic prosperity in what he sees as a neglected corner of the state.

His principal focus as an agent of change is to bring back a commuter rail line connecting Wayne and Pike Counties to New York City.

After researching the concept, approximately two months ago Marrero approached Tom Myles, owner of the Delaware Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad (DL&S) with the plan. Myles states that he has been considering passenger service for the last four years, as an addition to the popular Stourbridge Line excursion operation. Myles and Marrero have been working on the concept since then, and together, made an announcement of the proposal on October 23.

Briefly, what is being talked about is reaching an agreement to extend DL&S train service to Port Jervis where passengers would switch to New Jersey Transit, or possibly invite New Jersey Transit to expand service here. A potential “express” train to the City was suggested to lessen the commute and improve access in both directions along the tracks, between Wayne and Pike, and the Big Apple.

Seizing opportunity

He stated he is the most qualified candidate for the 139th because,”I have a vision for the future and the energy and passion to make that vision a reality.”

Revitalizing the area, he said, will bring the “new engine for long term prosperity.”

“I know for a fact that Northeastern Pennsylvania is one of the most neglected portions of the state,” Marrero commented. “…By and large our residents are some of the poorest in the state and for us to have any chance at a better future we need to seize the economic opportunities that are right before our eyes, before we are left behind any further.”

He said people are losing hope due to a history of stagnate wages and job market. This puts us behind the rest of the state and nation, he continued. As a result, our goods and services cost us more because it requires a greater proportion of our disposable income.

Passenger train service, he reasons, can be a conduit for economic vitality for this region. He reasons that this real service will bring higher income and additional dollars to be spent in the local economy. More goods and services will be sold here because of people who are attracted to commute by rail from here, and by attracting more people to travel here by rail.

When more jobs are created in the area, the greater competition for jobs will drive up wages, Marrero pointed out, allowing more spending.

“I think that we have a better future right before our eyes and if we just reach out and grasp it we have something good for ourselves here in Pike and Wayne Counties,” he said. In his campaign, he said he senses people are hungry for change.

“We need to lift people up in northeastern PA,” he said. The railroad project, he added, will be an important generator for sales and property tax revenue and will encourage strong growth.

“It’s important to lift up people in this area and if there’s one thing I want to do as a state representative, is to help lift people of Pike and Wayne Counties up so they can have a better future.”

Another plank in his campaign, Marrero stated, is to address the opioid epidemic from “all fronts.” This is a big reason, he said, of why he has declined to accept any “group money” from outside concerns that may leave question of influence.

Conservative democrat

He described himself as a “conservative democrat.” He was formerly a republican.

As a conservative, Marrero said that he advocates for government that sets the rules and create an even playing field, but then to get out of the way and let the public run their lives. He said he believes in fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget. As far as social values, he said he is personally pro-life but does not believe in forcing his morals and beliefs on someone else. This includes a woman’s right not decide what to do with her own body, he said.

Marrero,who is 50, has been a resident of Hawley since 2005. He is the owner and operator of NEPA Lock. While in the Navy, he was engaged in hunting for Russian submarines. He and his wife Marie are the parents of a son Alexander, who attends Allegheny College, and daughter Amelia, a Wallenpaupack student.