Tedesco resigns McKeesport council to accept director post
A.J. Tedesco resigned from McKeesport council on Monday to become the city's full-time community development director.
Jamie Brewster-Filotei, who was the leading vote-getter in May's Democratic council primary with 1,193, was appointed to serve the remaining five months of Tedesco's term.
Council accepted Tedesco's resignation and approved his appointment at a special session.
Tedesco replaces Bethany Bauer, who accepted an early retirement offer.
Mayor Michael Cherepko and Tedesco, who ran against each other in the 2011 Democratic mayoral primary, said they are putting aside their differences to bring new hope to their hometown.
Cherepko said the “vindictiveness and arrogance” that often come with losing or winning an election have no place in local government. When he took office in January 2012, the mayor vowed to work with council, despite potential differences of opinion, as long as everyone had the city's best interest at heart.
“It's not just a slogan. It's not just a motto,” Cherepko said. “It's an invitation of working together for a better McKeesport.”
Tedesco said that always has been his goal. He said he believes he made positive strides during his 42 months on council, and that taking a full-time role as community development director will give him the chance to do more good.
“I believe the mayor and I are sending a positive message to this city,” Tedesco said. “Political feuds in the Mon Valley have always tended to be for life. This benefits no one. We are able to now show that two Mon Valley politicians can put their previous disputes aside to join together for a greater common good.”
Brewster-Filotei will remain on the ballot for November's general election in her bid to win a full term.
McKeesport Democratic Committee will appoint a ballot replacement for Tedesco, who won re-nomination in May with 981 votes.
Incumbent V. Fawn Walker-Montgomery, who got 826 votes in May, also is on the ballot.
The committee could chose a replacement from among unsuccessful primary candidates Jim Barry (822 votes), LaWana Simmons (733), Patrick Chiaverini (561), and Arla Payne-Stinson (422).
“I've had the opportunity to teach with Jamie and play ball with Jamie and her sisters when I was a young kid,” Cherepko said. “You talk about a tremendous asset to this city and (McKeesport Area) school district. I've seen her as a mentor in the classroom and on the field. Now she wants to help out and be part of something very special as we take this city into the future.”
Cherepko said he is confident that Brewster-Filotei and the other councilors have the ability to move the city forward.
“The obstacles we face here in the city of McKeesport and throughout the entire Mon Valley are extremely challenging,” Cherepko said. “The bickering, the in-fighting, the controversy — it does nothing to help promote this city. In fact, it does quite the opposite. It holds us back.”
State Sen. James R. Brewster, who was subject to political disputes during his time on council and as mayor, said conflict in local government is a deterrent.
“Now is the time for unity. Individual agendas will only add to our problems,” Brewster said. “It's important to get past the stigma of chronic naysayers who say people are going to just be yes men for the mayor. The fact is that state government and federal government are looking for unity. They're looking for a team. When they invest money in our communities, they want to know it's going to be used correctly. When they see splits and divides, it sends a poor message to the mother house.”
Brewster said Monday night's “changing of the guards” will bring harmony to city government.
“Harmony will bring unity,” he said. “And when you have unity, you can get problems solved.”
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.
- Special events planned as part of Kennywood’s 2015 season
- No apology coming for Steel Valley teachers
- Some ONE Homestead housing units almost ready for occupancy
- Allegheny County reiterates support for Pangburn Hollow overhaul
- Elizabeth Forward honors 6 for state Special Olympics medals
- Old New England Elementary School sale approved by West Mifflin Area board
- McKeesporter charged in domestic incident ordered to stand trial
- Biz students chart strategy for stemming McKeesport’s population decline
- Steel Valley school to add restroom for special needs
- McKeesport to get overhaul via 9 beautification projects
- Political signs line Mon-Yough streets at election time