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Kraus opening satellite office in So. Side


District 3 Councilman Bruce Kraus is preparing to open his third neighborhood satellite office.

The new neighborhood office, opening on February 14, will be on the first floor of UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center two days a month. The opening of the South Side satellite office follows the establishment of District 3 community offices in Arlington and Oakland.

Mr. Kraus said he wanted the neighborhood office because there are a large number of people, particularly the elderly, living in his district who aren’t comfortable traveling downtown to meet with his staff about problems. The satellite offices offer a more user-friendly alternative to meet with staff members.

All three of the neighborhood offices are staffed by Donna Wielock and Arlene Trost. In their first year of staffing the Arlington office, they fielded 1,500 calls from constituents Mr. Kraus said.

“People are very comfortable talking with people one to one instead of over the phone or calling 311,” the councilman added.

The first satellite office opened in Arlington at the Allegheny County Adult Probation Day Reporting Center, 2322 Arlington Avenue, in April of 2010.

After redistricting, District 3 increased its footprint in Oakland and Mr. Kraus began looking for somewhere for a neighborhood office to take constituent calls from South and Central Oakland. Eventually, he arranged for space for his staff in the Peoples Oakland offices, 3433 Bates Street.

He said he had been working on finding a location for a satellite office in South Side for some time when the opportunity came to locate in UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center.

“UPMC was open to it from day one.”

“It worked out to be a very good partnership,” Mr. Kraus said. He added there are more than 500 people working in the building now and the cafeteria has reopened, making it an ideal location for him and his staff.

All three satellite offices are staffed by Ms. Wielock and Ms. Trost. They are completely self-sufficient, traveling with a wireless laptop computer capable able to access the same city information as Mr. Kraus’ Downtown staff and their own mobile telephone, 412-689-1130.

With the first three offices established, Councilman Kraus has set his sights on finding another space for a fourth office on the Hilltop. Ideally, he is interested in finding a location at the far end of East Warrington Avenue, near Warrington Recreation Center to serve the Allentown, Beltzhoover Mount Washington residents.

Hours for the three satellite offices are:

Arlington, Allegheny County Adult Probation Day Reporting Center, 2322 Arlington Avenue, every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;

Oakland, Peoples Oakland, 3433 Bates Street, second and fourth Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m .; and,

South Side, UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center, 2000 Mary Street, first and third Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The South Side satellite office will have an opening reception on February 14 from noon to 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.


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