Longtime Cheswick resident Brad Yaksich has been appointed to fill an empty seat on borough council through the end of the year.
Council unanimously approved Yaksich’s appointment Tuesday. He will fill the seat previously held by Cathy Crail, who stepped down at the end of December.
“His knowledge of our community and his experience in public service were important factors contributing to his nomination and appointment,” said Councilman Michael Girardi. “I know he will be an asset.”
Yaksich, 52, has previously served as a member of the borough’s recreation board and planning commission among other community groups.
He said he always knew he would get involved in local politics once his two daughters were older.
“I just thought it’s a good time to step up and get involved,” Yaksich said.
Yaksich has lived in Cheswick for 30 years. He’s a graduate of Springdale High School and Point Park University. He works in sales.
Yaksich said he hopes to improve the relationship between council and the community, and provide a new voice to the leadership. He plans to run for the seat in this year’s election and encourages other residents to get involved.
“I want the communication in the town to improve,” Yaksich said. “So many people don’t know what’s going on.”
He said he loves Cheswick because it’s a small, close-knit community that has a lot to offer including affordable housing and its position right along the Allegheny River.
“I think our valley’s a great place,” Yaksich said. “I’m just a big believer in our area.”
Girardi said they received multiple qualified applicants that made their decision difficult.
“We have many great people in our borough that makes it a wonderful place to live,” he said. “All community involvement, whether it is serving on council, volunteering for other borough positions, being a member of the fire department, or simply attending meetings, is encouraged and appreciated.”
A message left at number listed for Yaksich was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Council also unanimously approved moving assistant secretary Lorraine Zebrine into the regular borough secretary’s position. She’s been with the borough since November and has helped out during the past few months of transition when Joseph Puet resigned after only a few months on the job. Puet had filled the secretary position when Ian Fitzgerald unexpectedly resigned at the end of October to take a job as Harmar’s secretary.
Zebrine will continue to work part-time, 24 hours per week, but will take on more responsibilities. Her pay will be $30 per hour with no other benefits.
“She has already found ways to cut costs, eliminate waste, and make our office run more efficiently,” Girardi said. “I very much look forward to working with her.”