Monroeville Council appoints Yakim to zoning board
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, who is 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 Monroeville Council candidate Linda Gaydos gave council members information about delinquent taxes that a Yakim-owned real estate company owed to the county.
Erb said Gaydos' actions and her comments after the previous meeting were a form of 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 Tuesday, prior to the vote, that Yakim was more qualified than resident Gary Grysiak — who also had volunteered to fill the vacancy.
Yakim sent an email to Drumheller after she received the information about back taxes that detailed the struggles of his business and his intentions to pay the taxes. Drumheller read the message aloud at the meeting on Tuesday.
“Oftentimes in business, there are learning opportunities, and this time period gave me several good and expensive lessons.”
Yakim last week said he plans to liquidate some of his properties, which in turn will ensure that taxes are paid.
Though candidates submit resumes to council, there is no formal background check for potential members of commissions and boards, officials said.
The Zoning hearing board makes decisions regarding variances and adherence to zoning code. Yakim's four-year term expires in 2017.
There are a number of vacancies on other boards including, the Convention Visitors Bureau, Ethics Commission, Human Needs and Resource Advisory Board, Personnel Board, and Police Civil Service Commission, according to the muncipality's website.
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or firstname.lastname@example.org.