Elizabeth Township commissioners continue steps to dissolve sanitary authority
Elizabeth Township took another step toward dissolving the township's sanitary authority during a roller coaster of a commissioners meeting that featured a resignation, an unexpected censure and an appearance by a man dressed as a Winnie the Pooh character.
Commissioners on Monday night unanimously authorized closing the authority's financial account and to transfer the balance of the funds — a little less than $23,000 — to the township's capital reserve account.
Commissioners were split on a separate resolution to appoint Jeffrey Mills as bond counsel for the township, but it was adopted 4-3. Commissioners Joanne Beckowitz, Donald Similo and Robert D. Thomas were opposed.
Solicitor Matthew D. Racunas said the steps are necessary steps for the dissolution approved in April.
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge M.A. Della Vecchia issued a consent order in June calling for the township and authority to “take all necessary actions to dissolve and wind up its affairs” before Oct. 24.
“The resolution tonight just moved that process forward and authorized bond counsel to start getting financial information together,” Racunas said. “Bond counsel will figure out how to take the outstanding debt from the authority and bring it into the township.”
The board authorized advertising a special meeting for Monday at 7 p.m. to adopt a not-to-exceed borrowing ordinance for the acquisition of the authority.
“This next public meeting will be another step that will help establish a financing plan,” Racunas said. “If the township is going to take over that debt, they have to figure out exactly how to acquire those bond issues.”
Commissioners accepted the resignation of code enforcement officer James Matscherz, who has held the position since 2007. Matscherz has twice been named Pennsylvania Code Enforcement Officer of the Year.
“It's been very enjoyable working for the board and I really appreciate the opportunity,” Matscherz said.
The police department will fill in with code enforcement duties.
During a far less feel-good moment, Commissioner Clare Bryce elicited gasps when she moved to censure Commissioner Robert D. Thomas for allegedly telling individuals outside of the board what has been discussed in executive sessions.
Although Bryce offered no evidence, commissioners voted 4-3 to censure Thomas. Commissioners Beckowitz, Similo and Thomas were opposed.
Racunas explained that a censure is a “formal notification of improper actions” mostly for the public's knowledge.
Thomas later said he was “blindsided” by the accusation.
“I have no clue what (Bryce) is talking about,” he said. “This is just dirty local politics, that's all.”
But in lighter business, several residents — including one dressed in an orange and black Tigger costume — pleaded with commissioners to reconsider their intention to move Halloween celebrations from Oct. 31, a Thursday, to a Saturday, as discussed at a prior meeting.
That struck a chord with commissioners, who unanimously approved the Halloween parade and township-wide trick-or-treating to take place on Oct. 31.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, 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.
- Police investigate fatal shooting in West Mifflin
- Ice jam wipes out McKeesport’s marina
- West Mifflin dog blamed in toddler’s death set to be euthanized
- Upgrades anticipated for Port Vue police equipment
- Elizabeth Township, McKeesport impacted by ice jam on Youghiogheny River
- Clairton City School District seeks savings in food service management
- School officials hopeful of seeing increases in education funding under Wolf plan
- Seuss stories inspire ‘math in a hat’
- Elizabeth Township promotes police veteran to chief
- Forward Township couple, Florida man arrested in drug sting
- McKeesport council awards bids for traffic signal upgrades