Pleasant Hills mayor ready to serve
By Dona S. Dreeland
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Robert Bootay III has returned to local government in Pleasant Hills, but this time as mayor.
The 38-year-old Republican has taken over the role held by Warren Bourgeois for the last 16 years .
Bootay had served council for six years but left his post in 2012. As a lawyer, he handled property appeals for clients and said he thought maintaining both roles was “close enough to conflict of interest” that he stepped down.
As a fourth-generation resident of the borough, he said, he had a “tremendous understanding of Pleasant Hills and a good working relationship with council.”
He is aware of the time commitment involved and understands the duties and responsibilities entailed, he said. As mayor, he will work with the police department and plans to maintain the community orientation of the police as established by the former Chief Edward Cunningham.
“He did a tremendous job, but we're very fortunate to have Chief (Brian) Finnerty and Deputy Chief (Sean) Greene,” Bootay said.
He finds the council and borough government to be professionally run and will bring his “particular skill set as a lawyer” to his new role.
“It is a pleasure to give back and serve,” Bootay said, to the community where he and his wife Liz reared three children. “It is a privilege and honor, and I'm genuinely looking forward to it.”
While Bootay is ringing in the new year, Brad Rodeheaver, a Republican, is stepping away from serving Pleasant Hills Borough Council for the past 16 years.
His decision to leave his post as president for the last four years was difficult, he said, unlike his decision to serve: “I wanted to give to the community what they gave us.”
He and his wife moved to the borough in the early- to mid-1980s, he said, and reared two sons and a daughter. And it's for their sake, especially his 17-year-old's, that he'll give up local government.
“I want to spend more time with him before he leaves,” Rodeheaver, 56, originally from West Virginia, said.
Council business was time consuming, he said, taking perhaps three or four nights a week. He gave his energies to the public-safety, public-works, police/fire/ambulances and planning committees. He also served on the Allegheny County Boroughs Association's board of directors.
“We've got a great police force and a public safety system,” he said.
The highlight of his four terms on council was the receipt of the $157,000 grant that will be used to upgrade the Pleasant Kingdom playground and the tennis and basketball courts in Mowry Park. The money came from the Allegheny County Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund.
His family and children's friends are tennis aficionados, while he is a spectator, a role he occasionally might take on at council meetings as former colleagues continue their work with the borough.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
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