Carrick Council introduces new Board, future plans
March 5, 2019
Committee reports from the newly formed Carrick Community Council (CCC) Board highlighted the 2019 strategies that will support the organization’s new strategic plan at the first membership meeting of the year which took place last Thursday.
Board president Sherry Brown opened the meeting by introducing the new 17-member CCC Board and each of the various board committees.
Following November’s election, CCC board members include: Vice President Andy Miscuk, Treasurer Chris Small, Secretary Laura Doyle, Carol Anthony, Julie Kuchta, Gordon Sullivan, Carol Williams, Hillary Marcella, Jamall Green, Donna McManus, Theresa Seibert, Scott Seibert, John Trotter, Hannah Karolak, Ron Jardini, and Linda Donahue.
The first committee chair to speak was Donna McManus of the Capacity Committee, which is responsible for leading membership growth and organizing the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch’s monthly meetings.
Ms. McManus said growing membership through community outreach events will be a top priority for the CCC in 2019, and announced the CCC’s next community event will be the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday April 20 from 1-3 p.m. in Phillips Park.
Ms. McManus reminded members the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch meets the first Monday of every month. Future meetings will be kept to one hour and will include guest speakers and presentations about various public safety topics.
Gordon Sullivan, chair of the Commercial Development Committee was the next speaker. Mr. Sullivan said the committee’s primary project for 2019 is the placement of new Carrick gateway signs at each end of Brownsville Road.
The Commercial Development Committee will also look to partner with the Carrick Business Association to strengthen economic development efforts across the community.
Next to report was the Beautification Committee chair Linda Donahue.
Ms. Donahue spoke of several successful CCC beautification events in 2018, which included an electronics recycling event with the Pennsylvania Resource Council that led to 190 recycled televisions and two truckloads of tires. The CCC also took part in the City of Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics, and coordinated a clean-up effort with students from the University of Pittsburgh.
In 2019, the committee will launch an “Adopt-a-Block Program,” which will provide garbage bags, gloves, and vests to community members who sign up to take responsibility for maintaining specific streets or sections of the neighborhood.
The committee is also planning a community clean-up event in celebration of Earth Day on April 20.
Ms. Brown and multiple members from the Residential Revitalization Committee spoke about the 2019 plan to create an inventory of the abandoned and blighted properties throughout Carrick. The CCC will then present that inventory to District 4 councilman Anthony Coghill to take further action.
“We have 179 streets in Carrick,” Ms. Brown said. “We’re going to do a tour and [document] every single street. Properties that need renovated, grass cut, abandoned houses.”
Andy Miscuk, chair of the Positive Press Committee, said the CCC will “cross the digital divide” in 2019. The organization will work to launch a new website and leverage social media to conduct outreach and raise awareness about meetings and events.
“There is something going on just about every day here in Carrick,” Mr. Miscuk said. “Everything is in a silo or kind of isolated. We’re looking for volunteers to help out.”
In addition to digital outreach, state Rep. Harry Readshaw said he believes a large portion of the neighborhood population can only be reached through direct mail, and offered to pay the printing and postage costs to communicate future CCC meeting details.
Mr. Miscuk also added the CCC has nearly finished the application to become a Registered Community Organization (RCO) with the City of Pittsburgh. The CCC will take the application to Councilman Coghill’s office for approval.
The CCC board also has a Dairy District advisory group that is responsible for organizing events at the Dairy District Pavilion, including a monthly flea market and weekly farmer’s market. The advisory committee is working on obtaining business sponsorships to increase funding for additional community events at the pavilion.
Following the committee reports, the board also made a motion to approve a new set of CCC bylaws. The bylaws were approved unanimously and have been posted to the organization’s website at http://www.carrickpa.com.
Following the committee reports, Councilman Coghill announced he is creating a street-paving priority list. He requested residents reach out to his office with streets and alleyways that are in need of repair.
Mr. Coghill also said his top priorities for Carrick are the demolition of the St. Basil’s School Building, which has become a public safety hazard, as well as the redevelopment of the Berg Place apartments. Years of legal challenges have halted progress on both projects.
Several residents complained to Mr. Coghill about gravel and construction supplies that have restricted traffic on East Meyers street since November. Mr. Coghill said he is looking into the issue.
A date for the next CCC member meeting has not been announced. For the latest updates on events and meetings, visit the CCC’s Facebook page.