South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Not in my backyard


Last updated 11/14/2018 at 8:54pm

In The South Pittsburgh Reporter (Family Healing Center is being proposed for the former Mt. Oliver school building on Hays Avenue, October 23, 2018), CEO of Auberle Family Healing Center John Lydon made a few statements that I would like to respond to.

Mr. Lydon stated that a caregiver tries to keep the family intact. That’s all well and good, however the residents of this borough are not the reason the families have been separated. The addiction to alcohol and or drugs was the problem. The referrals to their problem will come from within the whole county and local neighborhoods.

As of right now, our problem in the borough concerning drugs derives from all these local neighborhoods. The epidemic that Mr. Lydon speaks of in this “area” encompasses more than just Mt. Oliver.

If, as Mr. Lydon stated, Auberle has more than 20 different programs, why not incorporate these same 500 families county-wide, into these existing programs? Also, Mr. Lydon said that Auberle would hire local people whenever possible. How many local people are trained and licensed as caregivers or counselors that pertain to addiction?

Mt. Oliver may be centrally located, but that doesn’t change the fact that we as a community have enough and have had a long run of our own problems, the community as a whole doesn’t need more of the same. I can not understand how anyone can think this program will be beneficial to the community.

When myself and (Mt. Oliver councilman) Nick Viglione met with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, we voiced our concerns about this proposal. Mr. Fitzgerald said that the county can’t get involved in municipalities business. It is up to the Zoning Committee. The Human Resources person said that the county receives money from the state to contract out different programs. So in effect, the county is involved to some degree.

If this program is as good as the CEO is stating, why not move it into a more affluent neighborhood? See if those residents would welcome it with open arms. The reason Mt. Oliver was targeted, is because the price is cheap! The same school building anywhere in a upgraded community would cost five times more and taxes would be much higher.

This is supposed to be a democracy and the hardworking, law abiding residents of the borough, who have met their obligations to this borough, by paying their taxes, keeping their properties maintained and paying the other bills should have a say so in what takes place in this borough. Not the county or the state.

I am urging all residents who are not in favor of this proposal by Auberle to contact their state senators and representatives to voice their concerns.

At this point and time, the borough has enough problems that need to be addressed and cleaned up, before we as a community can clean up everyone else’s problems. The simple fact is that the borough has been stretched out to the max and can’t afford anymore.

Frank Bernardini

Mt. Oliver Mayor


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