Mt. Pleasant's Lucia honored as Pennsylvania Mayor of the Year
Jerry Lucia is more than just a mayor.
His decades-long commitment to Mt. Pleasant beyond his mayoral duties earned him a statewide recognition and more than one standing ovation from those in attendance at a borough meeting Monday.
“I don't know if it's a mayor award,” borough Manager Jeff Landy said. “I think it's just a ‘person of the year' award.”
Lucia, 71, was honored by local elected officials Monday for being named Mayor of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Mayors' Association. It's the second consecutive year that a mayor from a Westmoreland County municipality received the honor from that group. Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks was the winner in 2015.
Mayors involved in the association and other elected officials from around the county attended Monday's meeting and spent about 30 minutes during the session posing for photos, laughing and giving Lucia gifts. Council adjourned the meeting for 49 minutes to have a “luncheon” in the neighboring fire hall in Lucia's honor before continuing with regular business.
“If there's something good happening in Mt. Pleasant, Jerry's involved with it,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas said. “You are the quintessential mayor.”
In addition to serving as mayor for more than 30 years, Lucia is chief of the borough's fire department. He is involved in many local organizations and events, including the Mt. Pleasant Glass and Ethnic Festival, which he helped found in his early years as mayor. The festival committee gave Lucia a clock.
Councilman Richard Cholock expressed appreciation to Lucia for showing him the ropes upon being elected to his seat.
“You treat us all the same,” Councilwoman Susan Ruszkowski said. “We're all equal and you're willing to help us anytime you can.”
Councilman Dave Pritts called the accolade a “well-deserved award.”
“How much you do for the borough is beyond comprehension,” Pritts said.
Lucia thanked his family and enjoyed a piece of cake later on during the meeting.
“What makes a mayor is the council and the employees of the borough,” he said. “It's an honor to stand here before all of you.”
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.