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Father, son take reins as New Eagle council president, mayor

Chris Buckley/The Valley Independent - New Eagle Council President Jack Fine, left, talks with his son, Chas Fine, who was elected mayor last week, in the council chambers on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chris Buckley/The Valley Independent</em></div>New Eagle Council President Jack Fine, left, talks with his son, Chas Fine, who was elected mayor last week, in the council chambers on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Chris Buckley/The Valley Independent - New Eagle Councilman Jack Fine, left, and his son, Chas Fine, who was elected mayor last week, talk while sitting in council chambers on Nov. 13, 2013, where they will sit side-by-side for the next four years.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chris Buckley/The Valley Independent</em></div>New Eagle Councilman Jack Fine, left, and his son, Chas Fine, who was elected mayor last week, talk while sitting in council chambers on Nov. 13, 2013, where they will sit side-by-side for the next four years.

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Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 1:21 a.m.
 

Charles “Chas” Fine learned he was a candidate for mayor the morning of the primary election in May.

Fine said several residents had approached him earlier about running, adding, “They talked me into it at 10 o'clock that morning.”

He won the Republican nomination for mayor on write-in votes, and defeated incumbent Mayor Glenn Petticord by 16 votes in the general election, according to the unofficial results posted last week.

The notion of serving in municipal government was not new, having been approached in the past about running for council.

Neither is community service for the president and first assistant chief of the New Eagle Fire Department, who has served on the sewage authority for a decade.

But then, community service is common for the Fine family. The mayor-elect's father, Jack, is council president.

The father and son — who live on the same block — will share the council table for at least four years. Jack Fine was re-elected Nov. 5.

Jack Fine, 65, served on council from 1978-986 before stepping down because of work and family demands.

At the time, he was working six to seven days a week at the U.S. Steel Clairton Works. The Monongahela native went to work there soon after graduating from Monongahela High School in 1965.

He retired from the mill in 2004 after 38 years. He worked for K&H Construction in Finleyville for nine years before retiring in July.

Jack Fine rejoined council in 2000 and has served as council president the past eight years.

“I just wanted to get back into borough business,” Jack Fine said. “I felt I still had something to offer. It was something I missed over the years.”

Chas Fine, 38, is a nurse a UPMC Presbyterian, serving as a liaison between the nursing staffs and the Internet technology departments for the health system's 16 hospitals.

“I really want to see what I can do to make changes in the borough,” Chas Fine said.

Chas Fine said he will first pursue a new police services contract with Monongahela to replace the pact set to expire at the end of 2014. He also vowed to “enforce our ordinances fairly.”

“A real big thing for me is this – everybody deserves to be treated fairly,” Chas Fine said.

Jack Fine said he is confident his son will treat people fairly and will work well with council.

“The board is very cooperative,” Jack Fine said. “I truly believe they're here to do the best for the borough.”

Jack Fine will welcome his son as mayor. The elder Fine did not always agree, politically, with Petticord.

“We haven't battled e_SLps because he doesn't talk to me,” Fine said of the mayor, who sat beside him at the council table for the past four years.

Chas Fine said that having grown up in the community, he knows the council members well.

“Everyone here seems very level-headed and out for the borough,” Chas Fine said. “It's hard for a small town to make change without cooperation.”

Chas Fine said it could get interesting if he and his father disagree during a meeting, but added, “We've had disagreements before when I was growing up.”

He is looking forward to his new position.

“I want to learn,” Chas Fine said. “I think there's a lot I can do for the borough. And if I want to continue this, I have a dad as a good role model.”

Jack Fine also is looking forward to the new borough relationship.

“I enjoy it; I enjoy the people (on council) and I enjoy the residents,” Jack Fine said. “Even if I get a complaint, they are nice.

“And hopefully the new council will be nice to work with.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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