Newly elected mayor 'just a Brentwood guy'
No matter where he goes, Dennis Troy always has been known as “The Brentwood Guy.”
He's proud of the town he grew up in and readily touts what makes the nearly 100-year-old walking community a wonderful place to live.
“I love Brentwood,” said Troy, 45, who was sworn in as Brentwood's eighth mayor on Jan. 6. “I'm just a Brentwood guy. I don't want to leave. I'm proud to be from here.”
Troy, a Republican, has an extensive background in government and economic development. He said he plans to focus on collaboration and keeping a bipartisan government during the next four years.
“I get to my office in downtown Pittsburgh in maybe 20 minutes, there's so many points of ingress and egress in and out of town,” Troy said. “The people here are fantastic. The people here aren't full of themselves. You have generations of families here.”
But the borough is not without its flaws, Troy said.
Working together, the new mayor said he hopes to be able to help solve problems the town faces, such as people moving out and an increase in drug activity.
“I see the need for cooperation,” Troy said. “I want to make a difference. I want to be the diplomat within Brentwood government, within the community of Brentwood.”
Troy moved to Brentwood in 1970 when he was 2 years old. He has been in the borough since and is raising a son, Alec, 10, with wife Lori Jo.
Troy has been involved in Brentwood athletics since he was a child, playing on the Brentwood Dukes 9-and-10-year-old team at just 7 years of age. He was the captain of the Brentwood High School football team that advanced to the WPIAL championship.
Politics also had an influence on Troy, even as a child.
Troy, then 11, stayed home from a family dinner at the Point View to watch the election results and Ronald Reagan's victory speech over Jimmy Carter in 1980. That election and how it affected his family financially was influential in Troy's life, he said.
Troy, who received his bachelor's degree in finance with a minor in politics from Westminster College in 1990, joined the Brentwood planning commission upon graduation.
“I wanted to make a change,” he said. “I wanted to make some impact, an opportunity to have a voice.”
His first job after college was selling telephone equipment.
He then went on to sell memberships for the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and work as an industrial development representative at the Lawrenceville Development Corp.
While serving on the Brentwood planning commission, then Brentwood Councilman Bob Cranmer asked for Troy's help with improving the Brentwood-Whitehall shopping center.
“It was a shell of what it once was,” Troy said.
Troy said he recommended creating an economic development corporation in Brentwood, because the county was focused on more distressed areas. The development corporation could then contract with the county's redevelopment authority to create a redevelopment plan, he said.
Brentwood Council agreed to back the group, which hired a consultant and formulated plans for improving the area, Troy said. The Brentwood Development Corporation later became Economic Development South.
Cranmer, during that time, became county commissioner. He hired Troy as an executive assistant for economic development.
Troy worked to get Brentwood Towne Square built near the Brownsville Road and Route 51 intersection.
The site had its topographical challenges and was difficult to develop on, Troy said. A grocery store was sought as an anchor store for the center.
Troy helped oversee a development deal with Giant Eagle and one of the county's first Tax Increment Financing projects. This was needed, he said, because to develop the site, nearly $4 million in retaining walls needed to be built. The terms for the town center were worked out in 1999, with construction starting in 2001.
“I'm the Brentwood guy, leading the Brentwood project,” Troy said.
Troy became the director of the county's department of economic development, where he was in charge of consolidating the planning department, development department and redevelopment authority — cutting costs and staff, creating one department and getting it off of the county's budget.
He focused on collaboration, Troy said.
He led the county financing deals for the new stadiums for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates, he said, and worked on the convention center expansion project.
In 2000, Troy was not retained by county Chief Executive Jim Roddey.
Troy went back to work at the Lawrenceville Corporation as the executive director from 2000 to 2003, implementing programs such as the “1662 design zone,” he said.
He then went to work at Houston Harbaugh Legislative Services, working as executive director. Troy became a partner and director when GPS bought out the firm.
In 2007, he decided to open his own company, DTI Development Inc., where he serves as president. The company works with development projects and lobbying.
Bill Luffey, 65, who has lived in Brentwood for more than 40 years, said Troy's government experience will help him in his new role as mayor.
“He's a Brentwood guy that's looking out for the best of Brentwood,” Luffey said. “He brings a lot of good experience with him from different positions…. I think he's going to be wonderful.”
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.