Street name changes planned to honor former McKeesport mayors
McKeesport plans to honor two former mayors by naming streets after them.
On council's agenda for Wednesday's meeting is the renaming of Marshall Drive Extension to Lou Washowich Way and Water Street to Joe Bendel Way.
Washowich served as mayor from January 1980 through Jan. 3, 1995. Bendel's term extended from January 1995 through Jan. 3, 2000.
“Both were a critical part of these streets and their development,” Mayor Michael Cherepko said during Tuesday's caucus. “Some may not know that Mayor Lou Washowich was instrumental in bringing Tom Clark Chevrolet to McKeesport from Versailles in the very early stages, and later in his time as mayor he began the idea of Marshall Drive Extension, which was completed under Mayor James Brewster's term.”
Cherepko said Washowich and Bendel were able to draw thriving business and recreation points to McKeesport even in tough economic times.
“It's no secret what Mayor Joe Bendel's vision was for the marina,” Cherepko said of the Marina at McKees Point. “Some questioned it back then, but what you see now is another destination point for the city of McKeesport.”
With 200 boat docks, the marina is filled to capacity with a waiting list of others who are interested.
The mayor said the marina is a “remarkable place” and an asset to McKeesport because it brings people in from out of town.
Council president Darryl Segina, while stating he does not oppose honoring Washowich or the late Bendel, said he would have liked the street renaming ordinances to have been presented differently.
Segina read a memorandum from solicitor J. Jason Elash requiring the legislation to be placed on council's March agenda.
“At first when I talked to Mayor Cherepko, I wanted it removed from the agenda,” he said. “I agree with you, and I respect (the ordinances) ... but all bills should go through the president of council.”
Segina said he had other ideas on how to honor the former mayors, but declined to share them during Tuesday's public caucus. Citing a communication breakdown, he said council should have had input into how to recognize them.
“I think we should all go as a body in agreement as to what should be done,” he said. “We all have different ideas, and I'm not opposing anything being named for them. I would have liked to have some input into what was being named.”
Councilman A.J. Tedesco suggested that both ordinances be sponsored by council as a whole, rather than the minimum one member that city meeting procedures require.
“I don't know what the mayor's impetus was in putting (the ordinances) on here without consulting us, but we aren't here to disagree with it,” Tedesco said.
Cherepko apologized for moving ahead without discussing options with council, but said the ordinances were well thought out to find fitting locations that would pay tribute to the mayors.
“I'd been on council for eight or 10 years, and no one has ever talked about honoring them,” he said. “I felt that they deserve it, and these things directly reflect what they represented.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mon Yough Chamber lends support to bike event
- McKeesport men jailed following high-speed chase
- North Versailles restaurant, dance studio damaged in crash
- Monument to Steel Valley Korean War hero relocated
- Munhall experiences phone problems after dispatch switch
- PSU campus gathers data for McKeesport plan
- East Allegheny releases teacher salary figures
- Duquesne shooting victims are stable
- Munhall seeks to stave off ‘47’ status
- Elizabeth Township man waives hearing
- Solicitor settles into her new job in White Oak