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Per PPG Part 1

Mckeesport, PA

#1 May 31, 2013
A hearing in council chambers on Thursday began the final chapter in McKeesport's year-long effort to revise its Home Rule Charter.
“They did a fantastic job of clarifying the charter,” Mayor Michael Cherepko said of the committee headed by Councilman A.J. Tedesco.
One change would clarify the importance of the charter in relation to Pennsylvania's code governing third class cities.
“Any matter not specifically mentioned by the provisions of this Home Rule Charter shall be governed by the Third Class Code and statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” a new Section 205 would read.
It is a bid to get a consensus on changes that could be approved as a package by council and then put on the Nov. 5 ballot as a referendum.
“One thing we tried to avoid was anything too controversial that would wipe out the work we had done,” Tedesco said.
“The committee approached the job seriously,” said John Yost, an actor, producer and former U.S. Customs broker who was one of three citizen members of the panel.
He was chosen because he is a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, not for any “hidden agenda,” Tedesco said.
“They haven't run for anything and didn't look to run for anything,” he said.
Yost served with retired respiratory therapist Mustafa Musa and school teacher Assunta Tyskiewicz, as well as city councilors Dale McCall, V. Fawn Walker-Montgomery and Richard Dellapenna.
Changes expected to go to the voters include the disappearance of the terms “city attorney” and “department of law” from the charter.
The city instead will have a person or a law firm named as a solicitor by the mayor “with the advice and consent of a majority of city council.”
There are changes proposed for the city controller.
“He shall certify that sufficient funds have been budgeted or are available for payment of all contracts prior to their execution,” a new Section 1309, subsection 5 reads.
“All contracts shall be presented to the controller prior to execution,” the subsection continues,“and he shall have 48 hours to file an objection with the city clerk if sufficient funds have not been budgeted or are not available for the payment of the contract so presented.”
The phrase actually read “or are available” when copies of the changes were released, but Yost saw the lack of the adjective “not,” as did city solicitor J. Jason Elash, and the phrase was edited.
The controller could “employ outside legal counsel to conduct his duties so long as said action receives the prior approval of a majority of city council,” the charter would read.
Other changes include:
• Referring to council members as councilpersons rather than councilmen.
• Requiring that anyone running for council must have been a resident of the city for one year.
• Barring councilors from holding the offices of mayor, controller or any other elected government position in the city and likewise barring the mayor or controller from holding any other elected office.
• Adding the word “fees” to ordinances requiring prior public notice, as in “new taxes or fees or increases in the rates of existing taxes or fees.”
• Requiring “the affirmative vote of a majority of city council” before salary or benefits are deferred.
• Requiring the mayor to report to council “from time to time or as requested regarding the state of affairs in the city.”
• Putting all contracts with the city up for council approval on at least a bi-annual basis.
Per PPG Part 2

Mckeesport, PA

#2 May 31, 2013
McCall said Elash attended all the committee meetings except for Thursday's, when a family matter intervened. The mayor attended every session.
“I do commend the mayor for being here for every meeting,” Tedesco said.“He didn't have to be.”
Tedesco's panel sought public input, but only a retired police officer was in the audience, and on only one other occasion did anyone from the public attend. Committee members said that also was a retired police officer.
“Not once did any of the officials push the decision in any one direction,” Yost said.“The dialogue was always open. It was very amicable.”
“We weren't trying to change the form of government,” Tedesco said.“We weren't trying to do anything radical.”
“We did see things that we feel should go to a ballot,” McCall said.“There are some things we did discuss and somewhere down the line we may put (them) on the ballot.”
The committee now will submit a final product to the full council for a vote at t either he July 3 meeting or a special meeting prior to Aug. 7.
That's 90 days prior to the Nov. 5 general election when city officials hope to put the finished product before the voters.
Question

Mckeesport, PA

#3 May 31, 2013
Did this strip any power from the Controller? Was the issue of employees running for or being on school board addressed? That is the most major issue that should have been covered.
Who Cares

New York, NY

#4 May 31, 2013
Question wrote:
Did this strip any power from the Controller? Was the issue of employees running for or being on school board addressed? That is the most major issue that should have been covered.
Unless you were one of the 2 retired police offficers that the article said attended any of the meetings, then clearly you didn't care enough about those issues.
MDC Machine Rules

Mckeesport, PA

#5 May 31, 2013
Did they address the issue of a councilperson seated on authority or board like MACM?

In my opinion no elected city official should be permitted to be appointed to any board or authority or seek another elected position.

The MDC endorsed candidate for controller holds the elected position of constable and an appointed position on RDCM.

No City employee should be permitted to run for school director because of the influence the mayor would have over these employee persons.

Since: Apr 11

Location hidden

#6 May 31, 2013
MDC Machine Rules wrote:
Did they address the issue of a councilperson seated on authority or board like MACM?
In my opinion no elected city official should be permitted to be appointed to any board or authority or seek another elected position.
The MDC endorsed candidate for controller holds the elected position of constable and an appointed position on RDCM.
No City employee should be permitted to run for school director because of the influence the mayor would have over these employee persons.
I agree entirely with this post. Also , any & all city jobs . Authority jobs & school district jobs should be advertised for in the newspaper for at least 14 days & all hirings should be posted for the public to view - without needing to access City Hall . Decades of nepotistic & political job placements or positions needs to stop .
Nobody Cares

Mckeesport, PA

#7 May 31, 2013
Agreed. The story said no one showed to give public input. Topix doesn't count and if these issues really mattered people would've been there.
Caring Individual

Mckeesport, PA

#8 May 31, 2013
Nobody Cares wrote:
Agreed. The story said no one showed to give public input. Topix doesn't count and if these issues really mattered people would've been there.
How well were they advertised? I saw the DN release the founding of the Committee a year or more back and the results. Something this important to the future of our local government should have gotten more substantial press. These should have made the Town Crier. Politician's golf outings do. Were the meetings advertised on the city's amateurish web-site? I doubt that many would have attended but because of past HRC abuses, they would have been of interest to the few that do care.

If the changes don't specifically permit council people to serve on boards, they are barred from doing so by the PA Third Class City Code. It's funny that they explicitly put deferring to the 3CCC in the new Charter. It's state law that they do so already.

From the changes listed in the paper, it seems that nothing of any real significance has been changed. Am I missing anything that has?
No show No voice

Mckeesport, PA

#9 May 31, 2013
Caring Individual wrote:
<quoted text>
How well were they advertised? I saw the DN release the founding of the Committee a year or more back and the results. Something this important to the future of our local government should have gotten more substantial press. These should have made the Town Crier. Politician's golf outings do. Were the meetings advertised on the city's amateurish web-site? I doubt that many would have attended but because of past HRC abuses, they would have been of interest to the few that do care.
If the changes don't specifically permit council people to serve on boards, they are barred from doing so by the PA Third Class City Code. It's funny that they explicitly put deferring to the 3CCC in the new Charter. It's state law that they do so already.
From the changes listed in the paper, it seems that nothing of any real significance has been changed. Am I missing anything that has?
As with any and all municipal bid or public hearing notices, advertisements were placed in the Daily Snooze and perhaps also the Tribune Review.
As for the changes to the HRC- or lack thereof- you need to start somewhere and chewing through dubious language is the logical starting point. I think this is a work in progress and only robust citizen participation / interest can move it from a snails pace to something more substantial.
Bully Dominated HRC

Mckeesport, PA

#10 May 31, 2013
Nobody Cares wrote:
Agreed. The story said no one showed to give public input. Topix doesn't count and if these issues really mattered people would've been there.
I knew several people who would not attend because they knew the bully mayor would be there. If they suggested or lobbied for something and the mayor thought it might weaken his death grip on the city, MACM, and council he would bully it his way.

The only way to neutralize the bully will be through the AG tapped phone lines and grand jury subpoenas for mechanical device records and the Palisades records. This might mitigate his bully demeanor somewhat if reality set in.
Nice Try

Mckeesport, PA

#11 Jun 1, 2013
No show No voice wrote:
<quoted text>As with any and all municipal bid or public hearing notices, advertisements were placed in the Daily Snooze and perhaps also the Tribune Review.
As for the changes to the HRC- or lack thereof- you need to start somewhere and chewing through dubious language is the logical starting point. I think this is a work in progress and only robust citizen participation / interest can move it from a snails pace to something more substantial.
I appreciate Tedesco, Walker and the citizens who tried to upgrade the Charter. The machine won't let anything hit the ballot box that would usurp their power though. They will continue to bastardize the Charter to further their agenda. They have selectively interpreted and enforced it going back to the Washowich days.
Troublemaker

Pittsburgh, PA

#12 Jun 1, 2013
Nice Try wrote:
<quoted text>
I appreciate Tedesco, Walker and the citizens who tried to upgrade the Charter. The machine won't let anything hit the ballot box that would usurp their power though. They will continue to bastardize the Charter to further their agenda. They have selectively interpreted and enforced it going back to the Washowich days.
Too true. The late councilman Ed Spando told me there were three Home Rule Charters. They'd use the one that fit the need.
HRC Results Fixed

Mckeesport, PA

#13 Jun 1, 2013
Nice Try wrote:
<quoted text>
I appreciate Tedesco, Walker and the citizens who tried to upgrade the Charter. The machine won't let anything hit the ballot box that would usurp their power though. They will continue to bastardize the Charter to further their agenda. They have selectively interpreted and enforced it going back to the Washowich days.
Did the HRC address the import issue that Council President has taken the lead on? Nepotism in all facets of City Government.

That would never be included because the it is a favorite and profitable political tool for MC, RD, DM, and JB. And for present and former MACM members, LN, DM, FB, NS, and DM. All, in the family is a prohibited HRC topic.

Did it address explicitly that city employees should be prohibited from being on the school board? No! Mikey and JB love the vagueness on this in the present HRC and profit on city employees on the MASD school board; They hold the threat of their jobs and career future in the hands of the mayor - hence the mayor could influence their vote.

Case in Point: The solicitor tried to influence the vote of the City Recreation Director Jim Brown a former SB member for electing a person to a vacate board seat in a attempt to have the city control the MASD school board. But, it backfired because no one owns Mr. Brown and he is his person. Four city employees on the MASD is just not good and independent government.

Maybe that is why the our mayor was shepherding the committee at every meeting. He was involved to protect and increase his grip on the city and authorities and MASD. And, it worked!

Nice Try

Mckeesport, PA

#14 Jun 1, 2013
HRC Results Fixed wrote:
<quoted text>
Did the HRC address the import issue that Council President has taken the lead on? Nepotism in all facets of City Government.
That would never be included because the it is a favorite and profitable political tool for MC, RD, DM, and JB. And for present and former MACM members, LN, DM, FB, NS, and DM. All, in the family is a prohibited HRC topic.
Did it address explicitly that city employees should be prohibited from being on the school board? No! Mikey and JB love the vagueness on this in the present HRC and profit on city employees on the MASD school board; They hold the threat of their jobs and career future in the hands of the mayor - hence the mayor could influence their vote.
Case in Point: The solicitor tried to influence the vote of the City Recreation Director Jim Brown a former SB member for electing a person to a vacate board seat in a attempt to have the city control the MASD school board. But, it backfired because no one owns Mr. Brown and he is his person. Four city employees on the MASD is just not good and independent government.
Maybe that is why the our mayor was shepherding the committee at every meeting. He was involved to protect and increase his grip on the city and authorities and MASD. And, it worked!
As I suspected.
Vote No on HRC Changes

Mckeesport, PA

#15 Jun 2, 2013
Nice Try wrote:
<quoted text>
As I suspected.
For those reasons of Mikey, the solicitor and increased MDC influence on the revised HRC I will vote no on the revised HRC.

It seems like Mikey and the solicitor dominated the HRC changes. AJ and his independent committee played into their devious hands without even knowning it.
Knee-jerk Jerk

Mckeesport, PA

#16 Jun 2, 2013
Vote No on HRC Changes wrote:
<quoted text>
For those reasons of Mikey, the solicitor and increased MDC influence on the revised HRC I will vote no on the revised HRC.
It seems like Mikey and the solicitor dominated the HRC changes. AJ and his independent committee played into their devious hands without even knowning it.
Did you read the results? How do these proposed changes strengthen the current status quo?
Changes expected to go to the voters include the disappearance of the terms “city attorney” and “department of law” from the charter.
The city instead will have a person or a law firm named as a solicitor by the mayor “with the advice and consent of a majority of city council.”
There are changes proposed for the city controller.
“He shall certify that sufficient funds have been budgeted or are available for payment of all contracts prior to their execution,” a new Section 1309, subsection 5 reads.
“All contracts shall be presented to the controller prior to execution,” the subsection continues,“and he shall have 48 hours to file an objection with the city clerk if sufficient funds have not been budgeted or are not available for the payment of the contract so presented.”
The phrase actually read “or are available” when copies of the changes were released, but Yost saw the lack of the adjective “not,” as did city solicitor J. Jason Elash, and the phrase was edited.
The controller could “employ outside legal counsel to conduct his duties so long as said action receives the prior approval of a majority of city council,” the charter would read.
Other changes include:
• Referring to council members as councilpersons rather than councilmen.
• Requiring that anyone running for council must have been a resident of the city for one year.
• Barring councilors from holding the offices of mayor, controller or any other elected government position in the city and likewise barring the mayor or controller from holding any other elected office.
• Adding the word “fees” to ordinances requiring prior public notice, as in “new taxes or fees or increases in the rates of existing taxes or fees.”
• Requiring “the affirmative vote of a majority of city council” before salary or benefits are deferred.
• Requiring the mayor to report to council “from time to time or as requested regarding the state of affairs in the city.”
• Putting all contracts with the city up for council approval on at least a bi-annual basis.
helen handjob

West Mifflin, PA

#17 Jun 2, 2013
i got off of welfare and am now giving out hand jobs in renzie park behind stephen barry field on mon,weds, fri 7-10pm
HRC Change Needed

Mckeesport, PA

#18 Jun 29, 2013
The HRC should prohibit a council person from becoming a city employee before one year after leaving council.

This would screw up Mikey's and AJ's bombshell $60,000 plan of deception.
One Elected Office Only

Mckeesport, PA

#19 Jun 30, 2013
Knee-jerk Jerk wrote:
<quoted text>Did you read the results? How do these proposed HR changes strengthen the current status quo?
• Barring councilors from holding the offices of mayor, controller or any other elected government position in the city and likewise barring the mayor or controller from holding any other elected office.
Does this mean that controller candidate Harry who sleeps outside the City has to resign from his elected constable position?
Vote No on Home Charter

Mckeesport, PA

#20 Sep 8, 2013
In view of the indictments that involved City Councilman Carr who voted for the Home Rule Charter, and three indicted former MPD officers, I am very suspicious of the contents and intent of the proposed HRC changes.

Furthermore, Councilman AJ Tedesco who chaired the HRS committee flipped to the machine side and was rewarded with a $60,000 City job.

Was that the payoff for letting Mayor Mike write the changes and influence the committee?

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