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Monroeville Council appoints Yakim to zoning board

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 10:12 a.m.

Monroeville Council appointed a resident to the zoning hearing board on Tuesday with a deciding vote from Councilman Bernhard Erb, who likened opposition to the appointment to bullying.

Council voted 4-3 to appoint John Yakim, a former council candidate and political ally of the four council members who appointed him — Erb, Lois Drumheller, Diane Allison and Clarence Ramsey.

The appointment comes a week after council candidate Linda Gaydos gave council members information about delinquent taxes that a Yakim-owned real estate company owed to Allegheny County.

Established by Yakim and his wife, Sandra Yakim, the company owes more than $3,000 in county real estate taxes on properties in McKeesport, Pitcairn, Turtle Creek and Homestead, according to county records.

Erb said Gaydos' actions and her comments after the previous meeting constituted bullying.

“Had that argument (against Yakim) been positive initially, that was a valid argument. But what occurred was bullying,” Erb said. “Threatening and bullying.”

Mayor Greg Erosenko said he didn't see any threats or bullying.

Drumheller and Erb said Tuesdaythat Yakim was more qualified than resident Gary Grysiak — who also had volunteered to fill the vacancy.

After Drumheller received the information about Yakim's back taxes, he sent her an email that detailed his business struggles and his intention to pay the taxes.

Yakim last week said he plans to liquidate some of his properties, which in turn will ensure that back taxes are paid.

The zoning hearing board makes decisions regarding variances and adherence to zoning code. Yakim's four-year term expires in 2017.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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