South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Short borough meeting filled with updates


A 35-minute meeting of Mount Oliver council on Nov. 16 was plenty of time for updates, reports, and resolutions.

Vice-president Frank Bernardini conducted the proceedings in the absence of President Darnell Sains. Council members Billie Michener and Dave Lowe were also absent.

The meeting began with the report of Mayor James Cassidy.

He said of the 62 drug arrests last month, about half were at traffic stops.

The K-9 units were used 11 times. There were 569 total police calls, three DUI arrests, no burglaries, and two gun arrests. Nine arrest warrants were served.

All police equipment is up and running.

For the holidays, metered parking will not be enforced Dec. 21-26.

But motorists had better slow down during the holidays as police details will be on the road, the mayor said.

Mr. Bernardini asked police Chief Matthew Juzwick for an update on the murder of an 11-year-old boy, and the critical injuring of his teenage brother, by an armed intruder in the family’s Hays Ave. home.

The chief said the suspect is a 30-- 40-year-old white male. A $1,000 reward is being offered by Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers.

He said the rest is either under investigation, or cannot be revealed.

Mr. Bernardini said police departments everywhere “need eyes on the street.”

“They all need assistance. Call 911 if you see anything suspicious,” he said.

Mr. Cassidy said residents should take steps to deter crime, like not leaving packages in cars that are visible to onlookers, and using motion sensor lights at home as outdoor security lighting.

“If something doesn’t look right, call us,” he said.

In the fire report, Mr. Cassidy said 22 calls were responded to two weekends ago, which is a high number for the department. He said all equipment is up and running.

In the code enforcement report from inspector Chuck Knaus for Oct. 8 thru Nov. 5, Mr. Bernardini reported there were 13 rental inspections (16 units); seven violation/notices; 16 citations; 22 complaints; six occupancy inspections; and five legal filings.

In the economic development report, borough manager Ricky Hopkinson said new and unwrapped toys or gifts, for children up to age 12, can be dropped off at the municipal building for the Brashear Association’s annual holiday toy drive.

Last year, 2400 toys were distributed to needy local families by the association.

In the parks and recreation report, Councilman Nick Viglione said he received a complaint that older youngsters were hiding from police in Transverse Park while drinking alcohol and engaging in other activities.

Chief Juzwick said he would look into it, but the youths hide once they spot police car headlights.

In public safety, Councilwoman Barbara Keener thanked the police and fire fighters for volunteering during trick-or-treat on Halloween to patrol the borough streets.

She also reported the City of Pittsburgh Board of Education will likely be renovating and reopening the Phillip Murray School in Mount Oliver next fall. The school closed in 2011.

She said the 15 mph signs will be enforced once school begins.

In the public works report, Mr. Hopkinson said the borough is ready for winter as it has plenty of salt.

In resolutions, council voted to make final payments to R&B Contracting and Palombo Landscaping of respectively, $11,477.30 and $16,142.77, for work at Ormsby Park, Phase II.

In the solicitor’s report, Deron Gabriel said a settlement was reached, at no cost to borough, in the Murray case. He was not permitted to release any further information.

In 2013 then Mount Oliver police corporal Murray filed federal suit claiming a hostile work environment. Earlier in the year, Cpl. Murray had been fired from the borough’s police force for willful misconduct including insubordination, neglect of duty and violations of departmental policies and denied unemployment benefits.

When the attorney representing the borough in the matter was contacted the next day, he had no comment.

In the question-and-answer session, an attendee said he asked last month for a trash can to be placed by the bank machine as the area is littered with a lot of trash.

Mr. Hopkinson said one will be placed there.

The attendee also said last month a resident complained of not seeing police officers around the borough. But he said he sees them all of the time, maybe 20 to 30 days a day.

The next council meeting will be on Dec. 21.


Reader Comments(1)

hmm writes:

I'm curious how there could be no burglaries, when Mt. Oliver Auto was vandalized and a vehicle was stolen on October 21st. Lynn Rudolph


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