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Veteran member resigns from Saltsburg council

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 8:59 p.m.

Saltsburg Borough Council will begin the new year in search of a new member, as the board accepted the resignation of longtime member Michelle Jesko due to family reasons.

“It has been a great pleasure to serve the community for all these years. This has been a difficult decision for me to make, but it is one I feel I must make at this time,” Jesko wrote in her resignation letter.

After the meeting, Jesko said her eldest son has been suffering some health issues, and the family has had to make frequent trips back and forth to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. “There's other things that I just need to focus on right now,” she said. “And I would come back once things calm down.”

Jesko has served as a member of council for 10 years and has two years remaining on her term. She will continue to serve through the end of the month. Her husband, Larry Jesko, is also a board member and abstained from the vote.

With her husband still on council, Michelle Jesko said, “I'm sure I'll still be doing stuff, just in an unofficial capacity.” She added that she will remain active with the local Heritage Holiday Committee.

Council President P.J. Hruska lamented Jesko's decision, but said he understands why she had to make it. “She's been back and forth on this decision for a few months now, and she and I have battled back and forth because I think she's an excellent councilwoman,” Hruska said. “We truly lost a good council member. But I do realize she has some things in her life that she has to take care of...I made her hold on for this long, but it's time for Michelle to get on with other things and take care of her situation.”

He said that he'd like to see her return to council one day.

Letters of interest to fill the empty council seat can be submitted to the borough office at 320 Point St., Saltsburg, Pa. 15681.

A resignation also was accepted from Terry Cumberledge from the borough's Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB). Cumberledge had been serving as council's HARB representative on the but said he recently launched a hospitality interior design business and would no longer be able to serve on the panel. “It's a very worthwhile organization and it's certainly needed here in town, and they need all the support they can get,” Cumberledge said. “But I just don't have the time to commit to it anymore.”

Residents are encouraged to submit letters of application for three current HARB openings.

Snow removal was also discussed at Monday's meeting, with Hruska urging residents to move their vehicles during a snowfall to allow room for snow plows.

Under Ordinance 168, residents are required to move their vehicles for the removal of snow during an emergency, according to Borough Solicitor Wayne Kablack. He said a snow emergency can be declared through a public announcement in local media, or if more than six inches of snow falls in a 24-hour period.

“It's become a problem downtown especially,” Hruska said. “People are not moving their vehicles for days during snow removal, and the guys can't plow straight down the street. It's ridiculous and we're not going to let it go anymore.” He said those not heeding the ordinance will have their vehicles ticketed or towed.

After the meeting, Hruska also briefly addressed the borough's purchase of a mobile home park in town, noting that council is waiting for documents to be prepared and signed. No deadline has yet been set for the current residents of the park to move out.

In other business, borough council: 

• Agreed to donate $135 to the Indiana County Humane Society;

• Approved the purchase of heavy-duty leaf springs for the Ford F-250 maintenance truck at a cost of $820;

• Discussed allowing Mark Simpson to park a food trailer at the former site of the Exxon station, across from River Hall, from April through the end of the year.

Gina DelFavero is a staff writer for Trib total Media. She can be reached at 724-459-6100 ext. 2915 or

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