South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

Resignation, football topics at Mt. Oliver boro council meeting


September 25, 2012

The neighborhood success of the new youth football league, and the resignation of Melvin Pollard as volunteer assistant ordinance officer, were the highlights of the Sept. 17 meeting of Mt. Oliver council.

Council member Pat Malloy was absent.

In the mayor's report which began the meeting, Mayor James Cassidy said there were 1,040 calls for police service in August, and 14 narcotics arrests.

Next, Mr. Pollard resigned as assistant ordinance officer.

He was sworn in as assistant code enforcement officer by Mr. Cassidy on July 16.

"I am not a code officer," he said at the Sept. 17 meeting.

Prior to the resignation, Councilman Corey McGough read a statement thanking Mr. Pollard for offering to volunteer on behalf of the borough.

In resigning, Mr. Pollard said he is a team player.

"I was just doing a favor for someone," he said.

Referring to an editorial in the Aug. 14 issue of The South Pittsburgh Reporter, he said he did not pay a parking ticket because he was out of work at the time.

The editorial pointed out his record of driving with a suspended or revoked license, and outstanding balances on a number of traffic and parking violations.

Mr. Pollard also said he would not have driven a car, but would have taken a bus or walked as assistant ordinance officer.

Councilman Darnell Sains said he never saw such an investigation on such a small issue.

"I wish you were received with more open arms," he told Mr. Pollard.

On June 18, Melvin Pollard was approved for the new post of assistant code enforcement officer by a 4-2 vote, with council members Mr. Malloy and George Farneth dissenting, and Councilwoman Christine Brendel absent.

At that time, attendees complained that the position was not advertised; there was no written job description; and of the hiring of a non-resident.

When asked if Mr. Pollard had a driver's license, Council President Billie Michener assured them he did.

On Sept. 17, the vote to accept his resignation was 4-2, with council members Mr. McGough and Mr. Sains dissenting.

In the public safety report for August, Mr. Sains said there were 14 narcotics arrests, one DUI arrest, 328 park-and-walks, 91 targeted patrols, and 17 nuisance properties under investigation. Of those 17, five are Section 8.

He next reported no infractions had been reported at Transverse Field regarding its football usage by the Beltzhoover Youth Athletic Association, which includes Mt. Oliver youths of all ages. The schedule goes from July 7 to Nov. 22.

"It is running fairly smoothly," he said.

Last month, Mr. Cassidy reported receiving complaints from residents about being charged $3 to enter the park during football games.

At that time, Mr. Sains said spectators are charged a fee by the league to watch a game.

But at the Sept. 17 meeting, he said he should have used the word "donation" instead of "fee." He also said residents may enjoy the park at will.

Mrs. Michener next asked Chief Frank Mosesso about enforcement issues with the former Triangle Bar as it is on city property. He said if 911 is called, the city will respond and borough police assist.

Mrs. Michener said she calls 911 if a large group of people are congregating outside the bar. Residents should also call 911.

Mr. Sains said a lot of the congregation involves drugs, sexual innuendo, and more. He said he and Chief Mosesso would talk with Zone 3 officials about the issue.

In the public works report, Mr. McGough said four street lights were burned out and replaced this month. Winter equipment is now being evaluated: the one-ton and three-ton trucks have been taken to the shop, and the pick-up trucks will soon need four new tires.

Mrs. Michener said while the small, daily maintenance items do not have to come before council, the large work needs three estimates.

She also said the hope is to have the new, energy-efficient LED lighting installed in the 100 to 300 blocks of Brownsville Rd. by Christmas.

In the code enforcement report for Aug. 9 through Aug. 31, John Smith, Sr., reported there were 17 complaints, 23 violation/notices, one business regular license, 29 rental inspections, two building permits, four legal citations, 12 borough citations, and six occupancy inspections.

Mrs. Michener said there are businesses without licenses or occupancy permits. The ordinance office will look into it.

Occupancy permits may be denied to property owners who are behind in taxes or other municipal service accounts.

In the recreation report, Mr. Sains said there have been no complaints about the football program.

Kevin Alton, of the athletic association, stepped forward to answer any questions about the program.

Mr. Sains said Mr. Alton and his team have been doing a good job maintaining Transverse Field. He said every time he stopped by the field it was clean. A cup or a plastic bottle is the most debris he ever saw, and that was after three groups used the area in two days.

"Everybody has to work fairly," he said.

Mrs. Michener said small complaints about the league will fall on deaf ears.

"We are going to partner with any organization who wants to do something with our kids," she said.

A couple of attendees commented the field is in fine condition following league usage and youngsters helped clean up. Another resident said the youngsters he observes are well-behaved.

"It seems like a first class organization," he said.

The last home game will be on Oct. 6, with the first game starting at 9 a.m. Different age groups will be playing games until about 4:30 p.m.

In other recreation news, resident Bob Warnock told council last month that he received a $5,000 grant from the Pirates he must spend by September, and which he is willing to use to repair Transverse Field.

That will result in a new infield, bases, and surface; repair of the backstop; refurbished dugouts; and more.

"I can only applaud them," Mrs. Michener said of Mr. Warnock's organization called "Cobra."

She also said the new playground equipment at Ormsby Park, donated by Community Human Services in Oakland, was scheduled to be delivered shortly. Until it is erected, residents should call 911 if they see suspicious behavior near the equipment.

Mr. Farneth said a non-resident is interested in starting a privately funded baseball league next year. He and Mr. Sains will communicate with her.

In the economic development report, Mr. Farneth said the date for next summer's car cruise will be chosen at the October meeting of the Hilltop Economic Development Corporation (HEDC).

On Oct. 20, the HEDC will focus on cleaning and painting the park for Redd-Up Day.

On Oct. 27, "Crank it at the Clock" will be held at the clock tower on Brownsville Rd. from 4 to 6 p.m. following trick-or treat. The after-Halloween event is sponsored by the HEDC.

Mrs. Michener said University of Pittsburgh students will help with Redd-Up Day in the borough, but they will need superviors.

She encouraged anyone who wants to be involved to volunteer.

In the waste management/sewage report, Mr. Farneth said effective Jan. 24, 2013, the new state recycling law states that residents cannot dispose of TV, computers, etc. in the trash.

The state is trying to set up permanent recycling days, he said.

For more information, visit:

Regarding sewage, he said he is working to see if any of the September shut-offs are eligible for the amnesty list.

During the public comment period at the meeting's conclusion, a woman who has spoken publicly at meetings in the past asked to speak. However, she was denied as Mrs. Michener told her she had to be a borough resident to speak.

After the meeting, the woman said she and her husband own a rental property in the borough for which they pay borough taxes, and felt that should make them eligible to speak.

The next council meeting will be on Oct. 22.


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