Millvale names borough manager
Millvale Council voted to appoint interim borough manager Eddie Figas as manager.
Council President James Machajewski said he looks forward to working more closely with Figas, who has held multiple positions in his more than 10 years serving the borough.
“I am confident that Eddie is going to do a great job,” council President James Machajewski said. “He has worked in a variety of levels within the borough since he started here. He is familiar with our in-house procedures, having assisted in establishing them. His background and experience over the years in Millvale is just what we need to continue to more our town forward.”
In 2005, Millvale hired Figas as its Main Street manager. Main Street programs are community-based approaches to revitalizing downtowns and central business districts through façade improvements, community organizations and promotional activities.
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development funded and managed the program.
“It was after the major (Hurricane Ivan) floods happened here, so I think what I noticed, and what our volunteer groups noticed, is that people were not excited to be in Millvale; they were frustrated. So, what we focused on was trying to create a sense of community pride and trying to bring that back,” Figas, 47, said.
After the Main Street program ended, Figas remained with Millvale as community and economic development director, focusing on attracting businesses to Millvale through façade grants and other incentives.
Figas, of the South Side, transitioned into a role as administrative services director, zoning officer and floodplain administrator when Amy Rockwell accepted her former position as Millvale manager in 2013.
When she became Lower Burrell’s city administrator in June 2018, Figas took over as interim Millvale manager. “I am excited for Eddie to begin his position as borough manager. We worked closely together and he was essential to me during my tenure as manager. Millvale will continue to benefit from his public service,” Rockwell said.
Figas expressed his gratitude toward Rockwell, the borough staff and council for their assistance as he changed jobs.
“Mr. Figas was thrown to the wolves immediately after his interim promotion with the July 5 (2018) rainstorm and has not shown any signs of slowing down,” Mayor Brian Spoales said. “Mr. Figas has shown a great deal of growth and determination since being named interim borough manager, and I believe the tutelage he received under our former manager has enabled him to be ahead of the curb for helping to move Millvale forward.” As manager, Figas wants to foster Millvale’s growth while ensuring that it maintains its “roots.”
“We want to make sure that we always have affordable housing. That there are certain things in place, so that we aren’t displacing residents that have been here for 30 and 40 years. We want to grow, but we also understand that there’s a large number of people that have built this community and need to be a large part of it moving forward.”
Prior to working in Millvale, Figas served as parks and recreation director for Peters Township and McKeesport.
He has a master’s in museum studies from Duquesne University and a bachelor’s in history from Mercyhurst University. The McKeesport native attended Serra Catholic High School.
Figas and his wife Jody have two daughters, Madeline and Molly.
Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.