Official draft of Economy Borough Newsletter
Official draft of Economy Borough Newsletter
Official draft of Economy Borough Newsletter – Councilwoman Michelle Lapinksi (far left) altered by Council President Larry Googins

An Economy Borough Councilwoman attempted to have a photo of herself slated to appear in the town’s taxpayer subsidized newsletter altered with graphics editing software, internal emails reveal.

Emails obtained by the Beaver Countian sent between Economy Borough Council members supported by the Bipartisan Committee For A Better Economy Borough and Borough Manager Randy Kunkle, detail the groups’ plans for the community newsletter sent out to residents this month. Councilwoman Michelle Lapinski asked Kunkle to switch out a photo in the newsletter to one that had been digitally edited by Council President Larry Googins. The photo was to accompany an article about a new Walmart being built in the town.

Councilwoman Michelle Lapinski’s husband, Richard Lapinski, is under criminal investigation by the District Attorney’s Office over allegations of election law violations stemming from his role as Treasurer of the Bipartisan Committee.

In an email dated September 5th from Michelle Lapinski to Randy Kunkle, the Councilwoman writes “Larry [Googins] is going to send u another article & pic which he photo shopped me per my request. Please make sure u use that one!”

Photoshop is an advanced graphics editing software used for post production work on photographs.

A final draft of the community newsletter was then sent out on Friday, September 6th, between Council persons Tom Fetkovich, Larry Googins, Michelle Lapinksi, and Courtney Barthelemy, to the Borough Manager, that included the altered image of Lapinski.

But on September 8th, another email was sent out from Council President Larry Googins to Manager Kunkle, indicating the photo would probably be removed. “Courtney [Barthelemy] is now having second thoughts about the picture in the Walmart article,” wrote Googins. “So I removed the picture (see attached) in the revised version. Michelle [Lapinski] is going to talk to her on Monday.”

The final newsletter sent out to Borough residents included just a stock photo of a Walmart building, omitting the altered photograph.

The emails also reveal an apparent effort by the Bipartisan Committee supported council members to exclude other members from the newsletter’s cover. An email dated August 29th from Councilwoman Michelle Lapinksi shows her instructing the Borough Manager to wait in notifying opposition members about the site visit until the morning their photo was scheduled to be taken.

“Ok. Let Larry [Googins], Don [Sivy], Courtney [Barthelemy], Tom [Fetkovich] know today. We should meet at the Boro building @ 12:15,” wrote Councilwoman Lapinksi. “Then tomorrow morning call Gary [Bucuren], RJ [Burns] & Jim Bluming & let them know we are going to visit the site & if they want to go to be at the Boro bldg @ 12:15.”

Before Council President Larry Googins' Photoshop Efforts
Photograph before Council President Larry Googins’ edited Councilwoman Lapinksi (far left)
Before Council President Larry Googins' Photoshop Efforts
After Council President Larry Googins’ edited Councilwoman Lapinski (far left)


    • As far as the fat/skinny thing, there isn’t any point.

      This is why we have the bullshit going on in DC today, people worry about what is unimportant, not what is meaningful, then we end up bitching and moaning about things when its too late and things have hit the fan.

  1. That’s important? She had her weight photoshopped down and this is important? Yes, it’s dishonest, but obvious to those who know her.

    • I think it’s to point to the fact that if she’s willing to be deceitful about something so blatantly obvious, especially to those who know her, what else is she willing to alter or modify in order to suit her? The deepest corruption starts with a simple act of deceit. Could this be a one-time incident? Possibly. Only time and her future actions will tell. Either way, I’m sure John Paul will be there to let us know.

  2. If one is going to change a photo that is not illegal, but at least make everyone look slimmer, they have images to uphold for the electorate.

    If is it their Newsletter, then just like any Newspaper they choose the pictures, and if they hide someone, well, that is Where Is Waldo? is all about every Sunday too?

    Who knows, I can hear it now on what happen…..We’re having our picture taken…..the Photographer is an idiot. Probably no film in the camera? This would be a reasonable explanation of the second picture needed.

  3. So, basically, she trimmed some fat off of her picture….is what I take from this story. Since when is vanity an offense that needs to be reported on? Just out of curiousity, of course…

    • OMG…Do we actually agree on something?! I found this article pointless. Maybe we can look forward to an article about a politician or cop that dyes his hair to cover the grey. That is a sure sign that they MUST be hiding something!

      • It looks like it. This is just stupid. And for the people who keep saying “Well, she’s dishonest about this, what ELSE is she lying about?”
        THAT IS ONE HELL OF A LEAP, from a simple vanity photoshop to something major…..
        I think we should mark this on a calendar that you and I agreed on something, because it happens so very rarely…LOL.

    • If Politicians could only Photoshop the Budget that easily we could get over the Government S :zipped: hutdown!

      • You seriously just CAN’T help yourself, can you?? ANYTIME you see my name, you HAVE TO mention something, no matter how stupid or asinine…..

  4. You don’t want me to start on the politics in Economy Boro! What else is she hiding besides her weight…..if you are ashamed of the way you look don’t show up for the photo! Economy needs a new Council for many reasons. We had issues on our property about a year or so ago & went down to a meeting to try to get some help after they made a mess of our property & all we got was laughed at, literally. Their workers damaged my brand new 35′ travel trailer & they wouldn’t pay for the damage. On election day in May there was another woman at the polls having the same issues with most of them that we had. So if you live in Economy & ever need anything don’t bother going to the council for it, unless you are their friends, you won’t get it!! Now because of the work they pushed us into doing on our property our $4000.00 shed is going to be washed away soon.

  5. Looks like she wasn’t the only one to get a tummy tuck in the picture, why are they pointing out her adjustment but not the guy in the middle in the white shirt? Would it have been more honest to just crop the pic so it was waist up? Seems deceptive but really we are always trying to hide all our flaws aren’t we?

  6. Being a woman-I understand about putting your best face forward! What I would want to know is how she stands politically! Come on people! Let’s use some common sense! It seems like at lot of the politic today are extreme-LIBERAL OR DEMOCRAT-We someone who can negotiate & get along with people! Give me a break!!!!!

  7. I could be wrong on this, perhaps JP was using creative journalism to send a message for all intended purposes. The photo that was used was a illusion and not reality. With just a click of a few buttons another image was created to alter truth. Nothing is illegal about photo enhancement, but I’m leaning more towards the message is how much altered truth is given for the sake of public observation? What’s most interesting, the comments are questioning if a photo of someone who holds a elected council seat has been dramatically altered could this imply other practices of deceit with constituents? What seems to have proved my theory of the message of intent is that the comments are about the altered photo and no comments about an email from Councilwoman Michelle Lapinksi shows her instructing the Borough Manager to wait in notifying opposition members about the site visit until the morning their photo was scheduled to be taken. Wouldn’t it be deceitful to purposely have the borough manager contact the other two members of council the same day the photo session was scheduled but the other members given enough notice to make arrangements to be in the photo? A clear observation that JP’s message about deception was very clever journalism. Think about it?

  8. Why is a council subsidizing their own newsletter? Is this correct? The county’s is not paid for by the commissioners but through our county tax dollars.

  9. Am I the only person who read the article…nothing in these comments notes that the three independent council members, (not affiliated with the Bi-partisan committee), were deliberately not told about the photo-op. If this committee is so secretive about a damn picture, what else are they hiding?

  10. People read between the lines here.They did not want council members not on the bipartisan team to be in photo by not calling them till it was too late.Where was the mayor ? After all he did all the work to get Wallmart here.The bipartisians where against it from the start.They only jumped on board when it could be used to win a election.Did you see how Googins controls everything.Again they used the newsletter (paid for by taxpayers) for a political advertisement. This group recently hired a company to over see the planing commission if you look deep enough they have ties to the bipartisians .Also they are in the process of hiring a chief of police without a doubt it will be someone they can control.What a slap in the face not to promote one of our fine officers.These people got to go.

  11. Holy shit! been hearing economy is full of money. Why don’t they pay for that googins to go get a photo shop education? He not only took 50 pounds of the lady’s middle he gave her a double mastectomy. Made her body look like a 12 year old. I like the first picture better. But I’m a sucker for big boobs. This bipartisan group I just read about in the Beaver County Times last week. What is this,?? some kind of cult and the ringleader photoshops off a set of boobies. Can’t believe I agree with that goofy Ellen, why didn’t they give everyone in the picture a makeover? Maybe the bipartisan cult is like the freemasons and you have ranking with special privileges, the others didn’t qualify for any photo fix ups?

  12. @ who ever

    The point that I got from story, is the where obviously using the newsletter as political advertisement.

    What a waste of taxdollars, I could see a news letter but blatant attempt to only get few there for photo childish, but consider the source..

    what is sad it’s obvious how insecure they must be with up coming elections, that they would shave not a few pounds off, but half of a body.. Atleast the girl on the right left her child bearing hips alone.

    Fetkovich has no business in photo he did nothing for the development he was just appointed. For real the road guy??

  13. WTF JP? a headline about Lipinski’s Helium belly? All the serious crap going on in Economy and we need to read councilwoman trims down newsletter headlines?

  14. what would have been good in the economy paper article would have been a picture of the real site-to let people see whats going on–but our four council people up for election want to hide as much from the publc as poss. so you vote for them–not!!!!thanks jp for getting this out

  15. OMG !! Hysterical ! We should find out how much the Mayor has spent on hair plugs and foil frosting. (I mean really if we’re going to talk about altering ones looks and trying to be things we are not) And where does he get that money from his business is basically non-existent or maybe his new job is being a “yellow journalist”

  16. What happened to the Orie sisters?? What is the difference here? Using public funds for campaigning is a felony !!! Unless you know the right people. Power can be very dangerous in the wrong hands

  17. @ how about me

    agree the highlights are a bit much, but I like that dude hard working guy and I liked his father to, and he honest straight shooter, but regardless the lady trimmed 100lbs off that is funny

    what isn’t is the point of article



    NOT THREE douches , the photo shop cow, but do have to say that Jane Mansfield has some kknockers to bad she crazy and hubby is a swinging piece of meat

  18. I thought a few of the comments alluded this council pays for their own newsletter so they could do what they wanted with photos and who was in them? After a second look at the comments and article, this council in Economy Borough is treading on very thin ice. This clearly was campaigning on tax payers dime and time. The residents of economy need to file a complaint with Kathleen Kane Pennsylvania, Attorney general. If these council members colluded over a article and a photo with their select members of council to appear in a their borough newsletter as a campaign tool, this is against the law. The flags are up people of Economy! What else are they colluding about and in full knowledge of what their doing?

  19. howaboutme, how about you may have been one of the bipartisan snitches? ” I’m not going down with these people, Yes, they have exuberant money in their coffers’ but I just stuffed a few envelopes”. What envelopes, please do tell???

  20. farmer larry’s barnyard livestock is out ranning around economy boro he better corral these animals michelle “the cow” , courtney “the pig”, tom ” the weasel” , jimmy ” the rat”
    they have totally destroyed economy boro . RESIDENTS IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE DO NOT VOTE THESE PEOPLE BACK IN :moo: :chicken: :sheep:

  21. Public deception, personal insecurity, image problems, political exclusion of opponents. There is more to these revelations than Photo Shopping.

  22. Great job reporting J P but keep on digging .There is a lot more dirt to be uncovered with this group of council members.

  23. you all forget- miss piggy is the $500 dollar mailbox queen that economy residents paid for **did you forget all that from the spring fliers-regular mailbox wasmt good enough since economy was paying for it*** do you have a $500 dollar mailbox residents of economy- call boro office and ask for one ***



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