ShareThis Page

Monroeville residents can 'speak out' in primary

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

If there is a silver lining to the dark political cloud that has formed over Monroeville in recent weeks, it is the timing of it all.

Residents can cast their opinions at the ballot box May 21, the muncipal primary. Six elected positions are up for grabs this year, including mayor, four on the seven-member council and the tax collector. Those candidates who are nominated will advance to the general election Nov. 5.

Mayor Greg Erosenko and council members Diane Allison, Lois Drumheller, Bernhard Erb and Clarence Ramsey have terms ending this year, in addition to Tax Collector Pat Fulkerson.

Erosenko said he plans to run for re-election. Despite a crossfire of accusations between Erosenko and his political opponents in recent months, which have called into question the character of officials on both sides, Erosenko said he is confident he will reclaim the seat.

“They'll see me out there working my butt off,” Erosenko said. “I do not take elections for granted.”

Councilman Bernhard Erb said last month that he would neither confirm nor deny reports that he also is running for mayor this year. Erb could not be reached for comment this week. Allison declined to comment for this story.

Council member Clarence Ramsey said that this is his last term on council. He said that recent events behind closed doors and on television news have hit too close to home.

“It's embarrassing to my family,” Ramsey said. “We're church people.”

He said that despite knowing former police Chief Doug Cole for years, he had concerns about the police department that needed to be addressed. Interim manager Lynette McKinney demoted Cole to sergeant last month.

“We're fighting issues here that (political opponents) are not putting together properly,” Ramsey said.

In January, then-municipal manager Jeff Silka wrote in a letter to solicitor Bruce Dice that council member Diane Allison — whom he claimed was speaking on behalf of a majority of council — told him to remove Cole as police chief or they would remove him. He said Allison then made him repeat it back to her.

Ramsey said he regrets some of their methods.

“Some of the stuff we did was just not nice,” Ramsey said.

Drumheller said last week that she will run for re-election.

She said her concerns with the police department were valid, and she questions the credibility of a few former council members who have criticized the majority at recent meetings.

She said they are the same people who, when they were on council 15 years ago, voted a former manager and solicitor out of office for reasons other than job performance.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.