It's 'Groundhog Day' for McKeesport officials in investment discussions
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a McKeesport Daily News staff writer and can be reached at 412-664-9161 x1956 or via e-mail. "I'm not going to sit here and explain this over and over and over again," Cherepko said during Wednesday's council meeting.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at PittsburghLive.com.
#1 Feb 4, 2012
Please explain the situation again.
#2 Feb 4, 2012
Cherepko led Council to accept prepayment on a loan from the Municipal Authority for $24 Million. The city was collecting I believe 4.5% interest on the loan. The city had access to $10 Million to pay off some existing debt. Not a bad move in part. Cherepko and the council members that voted in the affirmative, I believe Tedesco and Segina dissented, did not read the fine print or ignored it or worse, entered the agreement understanding it. The other 14 million has sat in a non-interest bearing account since August because the investment firm has not been paid for their "advice". Pittman could have invested the money into an interest bearing account day one, had he been permitted to. Now the city has lost the interest the municipal authority was paying or any interest the money could have accrued in another investment. The Municipal interest was over $4500 per month. Now the city hall spin doctors are blaming Pittman. In fact, months after the dubious transaction, he is the one who brought their mistake to them and the public. It is a matter of public record. It has been alleged that Mr. Cherepko and other(s) were treated to a Steeler/Ravens game by the investment bank brokering the deal. It is also under question that the city had to accept the loan prepayment at all. If no clause permitting prepayment clause existed to permit it, it is felt by some, excluding the re-hired crony solicitor, that legally, the city was not under any obligation to accept the prepayment. It obviously harms the city to lose hundreds of thousands in interest they would have accrued over the life of the loan. Famous thief Willie Sutton was asked, "Why do you rob banks?". His answer was simple. "That's where the money is." Always be suspicious of large financial transactions made by municipalities or school districts. Why? That's where the money is.
#3 Feb 4, 2012
Vacant buildings an issue in McKeesport
Thursday, December 01, 2011
By Jonathan Barnes
They look like large gaps in an otherwise bright smile -- vacant houses and buildings that once were part of a vibrant, industrial McKeesport but now draw trash, vermin and the anger of neighbors.
The question of what to do with these empty buildings looms large, and the topic is broached at nearly every city council meeting.
Although the city demolishes some buildings every year, no real consensus has been reached on what to do about the problem in the long term. Sometimes, the subject is raised by residents pleading with city officials to demolish a vacant building next to their home. Other times, city officials bring up the subject.
Fire Chief Kevin Lust said at council's Nov. 16 meeting that firefighters have been at such vacant homes, working hard to put out a fire, while residents watched and yelled, "Let it burn down!"
Some residents have asked Chief Lust and others in the fire department if such vacant houses and buildings could be burned, but the chief shuddered at that suggestion. "Yes, the vacant buildings are a fire hazard," he acknowledged, but he told council, "A controlled burn is out of the question. There is no such thing as a controlled burn, under my direction."
"The problem is that the system hasn't been working," Councilman Darryl Segina said. "We haven't been doing the job to save these structures before we have to tear them down. We've got to start cleaning them up -- the market value of the whole city has gone down."
Council Vice President Fawn Walker-Montgomery said several houses on Butler Street need to be torn down. The city should have a written process to place vacant buildings on a demolition list, she said. "There should be some kind of citizen involvement," she added.
Council President and Mayor-elect Michael Cherepko said in the future he would include all city council members in the process as well as city officials who currently are involved in the demolition selection.
After the meeting, Mc-Keesport controller Ray Malinchak said two problems occur with demolition -- the cost and opposition from owners. Some buildings can cost $35,000 or more to demolish, he noted, and some owners of the structures stop the city from tearing down the buildings.
Jonathan Barnes, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org m.
First published on December 1, 2011 at 4:49 am
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11335/1193662-...
#4 Feb 4, 2012
So, are you saying certain officials in McKeesport are crooked? Or have performed crooked actions?
#5 Feb 4, 2012
The question to ask is why didn't Rege and Pittman sign the papers so the firm could move the money.They also had on their coattails two others standing with them Segina an Malinchack,thats three people who ran for mayor and lost.Do you think they just wanted to make it as Cherpko looking bad.This wasn't Cherpko;s transaction it was Rege and McCal who sat on the board and brought in McShane to do the trans action.
#6 Feb 4, 2012
They thought the fee of $25,000 was ridiculous. It was. Cherepko pushed the bad deal through. Read the news.
#7 Feb 4, 2012
You have to be aware of the inside team. It was Rege (was originally in but forced out), McCall, and Shermenti. All affiliated with the City and on the MACM board. A flagrant conflict of interest as Mr. Segina expounded several times. Most other council members and Mayor Rege did not want to hear about this conflict of interest matter.
Those opposed and pleading for a delay and evaluation of the $24 M deal were Tedesco, Malincheck, and Segina. The public records will clearly reveal that. Malincheck got ousted from the meeting by the MPD on orders from Cherepko because he wanted to question the interest rate on the escrowed funds. This was an open and clear cover up by Cherepko who is the blame for this expensive fiasco. Mike knows this and is trying to deflect the blame on Mr. Pittman. That will not stick very long. Pittman will fight back and embarrass and expose Mike and his team. His team pushed out Mayor Rege over who got the eight or so new jobs at MACM. Rege had no dog in the race – and was kicked out of the team. He will be a supporter of the Pittman story of facts.
The other players are Elash and McShane. Street rumor has it that Elash, McShane, Cherepko and one other unnamed financial advisor attended the Raven/Steeler game at M&T Stadium. The naming right to the stadium is owned by M & T Bank. The big question is: Did they all pay their own way? Let’s hear from Elash and Mike at the next public Council meeting. You connect the dots.
Who benefited from this? McShane $10,000; Elash $25,000, Gobel $25,000 and others supports of Mike. The total was $340,00 on the MACM side and over $80,000 on the City side. The city lost these guys won.
Every entity or person who got a piece of the expense pie contributed to machine backed candidate.
In my opinion Interestgate is orders of magnitude more worthy of an investigation than Trashgate.
Now that Mr. Segina is council president he inherits the authority granted by council to investigate. He should initiate an investigation but include in its scope Interestgate.
Mike and McCall and Elash will scream about this one.
#8 Feb 4, 2012
I am just stating what is known to have transpired. Like the previous poster said. You connect the dots.
#9 Feb 4, 2012
The sewage authority really had nothing to gain by making prepayment and the city lost a lot of unrealized interest. It is more likely that Brewster, Cherepko, Elash and company approached the authority to bail them out for their mismanagement one more time. My bet is that they wanted a big enough kitty lying around so that Cherepko wouldn't have to be the Mayor that filed for act 47 in his first term. Also, aforementioned supporters of the MDC made money off the transaction. Cherepko had no problem making himself look bad on this one.
#10 Feb 4, 2012
Yes MACM did. They got bonds signficantly less than 4%. Expenses were over $350,000. The inside gang including Elash laughed all the way to the bank.
#11 Feb 4, 2012
With no difficulty at all Cherepko snatched defeat from the very tight and closed jaws of victory. Remember he was president of council. Three elected officials tried to delay the scheme until all understood and studied it. He rammed it down council throats and ejected the controller all by himself.
He can not blame Pittman because Pittman has no vote. Mike is where the buck stops. He screwed this one up big time and cost the city perhaps over a million dollars in lost interest.
This is not over yet and no type of Groundhog can bury it in their burrow.
#12 Feb 5, 2012
Repeat of last year. Groundhog Day special in McKeesport!
#13 Feb 5, 2012
Groundhog Day explains it well. But there are many others that describe this 'fairytale city & school bored politicial pretenders'.
Chicken Little - The Emperor Has No Clothes - Sinbad,The Pirates - & so many more. Just think if 'Pinnochio' were true, none of the above could even meet in the same room, for fear of poking each other's eyes out. LOL
Pass out the safety glasses.
#14 Feb 5, 2012
They fuss and refuse to sign if it's not what they like. Pittman has the most powerful vote by fussing. He whined cried fussed moaned and threatened to resign. Later the resigning was more politically correct called retirement.
This is all he blamed on Ray M. the controller. Pittman will sign should have entered the news for his game turn!
#15 Feb 5, 2012
Sad times in McKeesport!
#16 Feb 5, 2012
Cherepko's buddies Gobel and Elash got $25,000 each for little work.
McShame is Cherepko's buddy and got $10,000.
Rumor has it that McShame, Cherepko, and Elesh attended the Steller/Ravens game together at Baltimore. Who paid fore it???
This fiasco seems to be on Mike. Trying to blame Pittmen is desperation on Mike's part.
#17 Feb 5, 2012
Does Mayor Cherepko have the votes to remove or impeach Controller Malincheck?
Does the charter permit impeachment?
#18 Feb 5, 2012
Pittman is the one to blame 100%. He is NOT qualified to make these kinds of investments. The Council President tried to hire an outside investment adviser for the city, and Pittman got mad and refused to pay them at the expense of Months of intrest for a city that needs it. The water authority was within their mortgage rights to pay off the mortgage in a lump sum. The city was obligated and benefitted from the payment.
#19 Feb 5, 2012
I believe you are totally out of your element.
First, the water authority is in another county. The MACM includes the sewage plant and sewage collection system. MACM was the borrower for the mortgage not the “water authority.”
Secondly, Mr. Pittman has been trying for months to have PFM (the investment advisor firm) to submit a contract to the City. It never happened. No contract means no invoice, that means no payment, that means no investment advice. Pittman and Mayor Rege attempted to have an investor attend two meetings with a proposal to return about 2%. Council President Cherepko would not even let them in the room to present it to council.
How can you blame Mr. Pittman when do not even know what authority has a mortgage with the City and know nothing about the efforts by Mr. Pittman?
The truth of the matter is that Council President Cherepko is 100% the blame. He rammed this down council’s throat and they were not given all the consequences of this dubious project. Council persons who voted for the prepayment were deceived by Cherepko. His friends and campaign contributors made big commission and fees on the deal. This mess will not go away no matter how many Groundhogs try to bury it.
Segina, Tedesco, Malincheck, and Pittman were trying to be the messenger and Mike hammered them down with the gavel.
I predict that this will end up in court, if nothing more than to let the public know who is the blame. You may be surprised at the outcome.
#20 Feb 5, 2012
The hunting season is open a very long time in PA.
Beware of the truth and high velocity 80 grains of kinetic energy.
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