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By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Board candidates make their pitches at Zoom meeting


Last updated 12/2/2020 at 9:38pm

The Carrick Community Council's (CCC) November General Meeting was switched to a Zoom meeting and featured brief presentations by candidates for the organization's Board of Directors.

CCC President Donna McManus chaired the meeting and introduced the candidates prior to them speaking.

First up was Amy Byard. Ms. Byard is the owner of Shorty's Shop, a barber/salon, for three years in March. Prior to then, she lived in the house directly behind her shop for about four years.

"There are some things that need to be fixed in the community that strike my fancy to fix," she said. "If I'm able to fix the things that need to be fixed, that's awesome, but I'm really intrigued about how everybody gets onboard and helps each other out in certain areas that need to be addressed."

In addition to running her shop, she is has been an EMS for the past 18 years.

Gordon Sullivan has lived in Carrick for 31 years and has been on the CCC Board for three years. He likes the neighborhood and says it's always been a "nice area" and they "have to build it back up to make it even better."

"We have to try to improve it as much as we can and work together," he said. "We have to get the crime rate down. We have to get some beautification done on this side of the city. It's been neglected for too long. We have to get something done with Brownsville (Road)."

Ron Jardini said, "nothing's changed since I applied two years ago."

"My focus is still to work with the city. If anything, I've changed my mind about, a lot of the problems in the community aren't caused by the community, they're caused by apathy in the city real estate division and rules that are bureaucratic. And to me, that seems like the biggest problem. It's not a problem here in Carrick. It's a problem for Carrick, but it's not caused by Carrick," he said.

Imma Raffaele has lived in Carrick for 18 years. She would like to be involved with the beautification and real estate committees in the organization.

"As you know, Brownsville Road is the face of Carrick," she said. "I think that should be one of the number one priorities to give it a facelift. I know it's going to take time, but I think we should start somewhere."

Think big and start small is her philosophy for working in the community.

Laura Doyle wasn't able to attend the meeting, but Ms. McManus referenced her application for the board. Ms. Doyle was born and raised on Kirk Avenue. She left the neighborhood but returned five years ago and has now lived in Carrick a total of 25 years.

Ms. Doyle has been a member of the CCC Beautification Committee for five years and the CCC Board secretary for two years.

She would like to participate in events that improve life for the neighborhood residents. Ms. Doyle is interested in working with other community leaders to fulfill the vision to make Carrick a safe, clean and vibrant place to work, live and do business.

Chris Small is a 14-year Carrick resident. He's a volunteer with the American Red Cross and until recently was a scoutmaster. He has also been on the CCC Board for "a couple of years."

He feels the location has potential. He would like to continue working on community projects and would like to continue working on building the organization's capacity.

"Getting more people involved is probably the first step to getting everything else we want completed," he said.

Carol Williams has been a resident of Carrick for 62 years. She would like to see homeowners and rental people take care of their property better.

"There seems to be a problem in Carrick. Some of the people that do rent, they just don't take that pride anymore," she said.

Ms. Williams would like to get the diversity in the community more together instead of being separated.

"I love Carrick, I've been here forever," she added.

Ms. McManus has lived in Carrick for 29½ years and has been on the CCC Board for the past two years. She is the current president of the organization and serves as the chair of the Capacity Committee.

She said they have lost a "whole generation of youth" when they stopped doing events such as the Halloween Parade and Light Up Night.

"When we stopped doing that, we lost a whole chunk of kids. So, one of the things we wanted to do was bring back the stuff that the kids from years ago were able to participate in," she said.

Members in good standing of the Carrick Community Council had 48 hours after the Zoom meeting to go to the organization's website,, to register their vote. A link to vote was also provided to those attending the meeting to vote.

There were 11 open positions on the Board of Directors.

Results of the election will be posted on the website.


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