Monroeville Council cuts zoning board from 5 to 3 members
The five-member Monroeville Zoning Hearing Board was reduced to three members Tuesday, despite accusations of political hubris.
Councilman Paul Caliari, liaison to the zoning board, said he spearheaded the reorganization of the board because a five-member board was unnecessary.
He said the intent was to save taxpayers money.
Each board member receives $150 per month, whether the board meets or not, officials said. Caliari's proposal will shave $3,600 from the $29.4 million municipal budget.
Monroeville resident Len Young argued at council's April 3 workshop meeting that officials could have reduced the pay for each of the five zoning board members or cut the payment all together.
“Just keep the five members on there and don't pay them,” Young said.
Councilman Nick Gresock said Tuesday that while he thinks a three-member board is capable of handling zoning requests in Monroeville, board members should not be paid on months they don't meet.
Gresock said he plans to introduce a proposal at the May 13 council meeting to change that.
Council also voted Tuesday to appoint three members to the newly formed zoning board, but the vote quickly was deemed to be in violation of the Home Rule Charter, which states that board members cannot be appointed until 30 days after they're nominated.
When a Monroeville resident informed council they were in violation, Solicitor Bruce Dice determined the vote was void.
“I should have known about it,” Dice said. “You should follow the process under the Home Rule Charter.”
Former zoning board member John Yakim, who was removed amid the reorganization, said the vote by council was personal.
Yakim is a former council candidate and a political ally of four former council members — Bernhard Erb, Lois Drumheller, Diane Allison and Clarence Ramsey — who appointed him in September.
Councilmen Gresock, Jim Johns and Steve Duncan voted against Yakim's appointment.
The vote followed a series of clashes between the two political factions in 2013.
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.
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.