Four Ross commissioners leave meeting in dispute over filling vacancy
An effort to fill an empty seat on the Ross Township Board of Commissioners failed when four commissioners walked out of the meeting Monday.
A 4-4 vote for applicants Pat Mullin, a retired truck driver, and Paul Trilli, Heinz Field/Aramark operations director, sparked a debate that drove commissioners Peter Ferraro, John Sponcer, Chris Rand Eyster and Daniel DeMarco to walk out of the meeting, preventing a quorum needed for the appointment.
A meeting of the vacancy board, which consists of the eight current commissioners and an appointed chairman, has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Ross Township Municipal Center, 1000 Ross Municipal Drive, to choose the ninth commissioner.
The seat was left open when 7th-Ward Commissioner Gerald O'Brien resigned last month after being elected township tax collector.
When the board split 4-4 on the appointment, Solicitor Bonnie Brimmeier said Tuesday, she suggested having vacancy board chairman George Tunney, who already was at the meeting, break the tie.
DeMarco argued that the vacancy board could not convene without first advertising the meeting to the public.
“You're not following the law,” DeMarco said before walking out of the meeting.
The newly appointed commissioner could be a deciding factor in passing a proposed ordinance next year that would phase out township-paid health insurance offered to commissioners. The ordinance failed Monday with a 4-4 tie.
Commissioners in favor of the ordinance — Ferraro, DeMarco, Eyster and Sponcer voted for Mullin, who said in his interview that he would vote to phase out the health insurance for commissioners.
Commissioners opposed to the ordinance — Lana Mazur, Grant Montgomery, David Mikec and Grace Stanko voted for Trilli, who said would vote against phasing out the insurance.
“This isn't how I wanted to go,” Ferraro said before walking out of his last commissioners meeting.Ferraro, whose term is expiring, will be replaced by the newly elected Jeremy Shaffer.
Eyster, whose term also is expiring, will be replaced by the newly elected Stephen Korbel.
Both Korbel and Shaffer, who were at the meeting Monday, said they don't plan to use the township-paid insurance.
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or email@example.com.
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.
- Retiring custodian described as ‘heart and soul’ of Richland Elementary
- ‘Singin’ with Santa’ concert to ring in holidays at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Allison Park
- New Mexican restaurant to open in McCandless
- Youth Planting Change program aims to grow horizons for North Allegheny students
- St. Sebastian STEM class makes learning fun for students
- North Hills students collect food for families
- McIntyre students hope Buddy Bench is beneficial to all
- Etna, Millvale homes go solar
- North Hills Community Outreach’s Community Auto program giving away vehicle
- McCandless center helps residents make beautiful music
- Hampton hires part-time police officer