It's 'Groundhog Day' for McKeesport o...

It's 'Groundhog Day' for McKeesport officials in investment discussions

There are 64 comments on the PittsburghLive.com story from Feb 2, 2012, titled It's 'Groundhog Day' for McKeesport officials in investment discussions. In it, PittsburghLive.com reports that:

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.

Truth At Last

Dravosburg, PA

#21 Feb 5, 2012
U R Misinformed Badly wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
Your analysis is 100% spot on. This should go to court and justice be done. Add slander of the former City Admin to the list of charges.
Marshmallow Luancher

Harwick, PA

#22 Feb 7, 2012
Mckeesport is a inspiration to all sourrounding areas!
Dac

Coraopolis, PA

#23 Feb 8, 2012
Trash City wrote:
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: [email protected] m.
First published on December 1, 2011 at 4:49 am
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11335/1193662-...
Did they give up on tearing down the abandoned buildings?
Game Mission

Mckeesport, PA

#24 Feb 8, 2012
Dac wrote:
<quoted text>
Did they give up on tearing down the abandoned buildings?
Bring in the groundhogs and beavers for the demolition team.

The beavers can chew the buildings down and the groundhogs can bury them.

Since: Feb 09

Location hidden

#25 Feb 8, 2012
lol
The Undertaker

Dravosburg, PA

#26 Feb 8, 2012
Game Mission wrote:
<quoted text>
Bring in the groundhogs and beavers for the demolition team.
The beavers can chew the buildings down and the groundhogs can bury them.
If you want something buried, entrust it to Brewster and the MDC.
Minority

Coraopolis, PA

#27 Feb 8, 2012
Fly Swatter wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
Exactly!
Minority

Coraopolis, PA

#28 Feb 8, 2012
Game Mission wrote:
<quoted text>
Bring in the groundhogs and beavers for the demolition team.
The beavers can chew the buildings down and the groundhogs can bury them.
Post that under the abandoned houses. File a new McKeesport Abandoned Delta Report. Hey is it mandatory that it gets read first to edit out the bad parts first? The public should remain blind if the city has its way.
Stay Tuned

Mckeesport, PA

#29 Feb 8, 2012
Fly Swatter wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
The best possible thing that could happen to Cherepko and his brilliant supporters is to look bad on this one.

The worst thing is if someone with wisdom, guts, and money explores the plausibility of legal action because the Council President rammed this through over the objections of three elected officials. And it will cost the city many $100,000 in lost interest revenue.

Not sure if it criminal or misfeasance or malfeasance? May be stupidfeasance?
Frank the Jailer

Mckeesport, PA

#30 Feb 9, 2012
Impeach the Controller wrote:
<quoted text>
Does Mayor Cherepko have the votes to remove or impeach Controller Malincheck?
Does the charter permit impeachment?
He can be impeached. The solicitor will give a very favorable opinion on this one.

They should go for it!
Tienneman

Irwin, PA

#31 Feb 9, 2012
Not all accidents thoroughly investigated by police
On behalf of Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy, L.L.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, February 6, 2012
http://www.pennpersonalinjuryattorneys.com/20...
The original investigation by police of a Pennsylvania car accident involving a solicitor representing a local city council is being scrutinized. The reason for the scrutiny is because the police may not actually have thoroughly investigated whether impairment was a factor in the cause of the crash.
The city's chief-of-police has reported that the solicitor had just attended a celebration in honor of the city's mayor. The solicitor was then driving home at 1:30 in the morning when he failed to negotiate a turn and crashed into a building that was about 100 feet away from the road. The driver was bleeding from the head and was flown to a nearby hospital where he remained for at least another day.
The police chief stated that patches of ice on the road may have been a factor in this accident. He also claimed that investigation of this matter was still in progress.
What the police chief failed to say was whether any sobriety tests, toxicology screens or blood tests were conducted. If there was no administration of such tests, it's difficult to believe that any charges that the driver was impaired at the time of the accident could survive short of the solicitor admitting on the stand that he was under the influence of some substance when the accident occurred.
Fortunately, no other individual was injured in this accident. However, this circumstance does demonstrate that local authorities cannot always be depended upon in order to make a determination as to how an accident actually occurred. What if another individual is injured and no determinations are made by investigating officers as to whether the other driver was actually at fault for the accident? Sometimes only individual representation from an attorney or law firm can provide the additional resources needed so that an investigation of how the accident occurred was thoroughly conducted.
Finding someone criminally liable is one matter. Determining the cause of an accident is another.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "McKeesport officials to discuss solicitor crash investigation," by Moriah Balingit, Jan. 31, 2012
Tags: car accident, drunken driving accidents, police investigations
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12031/1207207-...
wallfly

Bethel Park, PA

#32 Feb 9, 2012
[QUOTE who="Marshmallow sourrounding areas![/QUOTE]i have never seen somebody so misinformed about a subject and try to pass on their way of thinking as it was someone else.This subject is going away.The city got the papers signed and in one or two weeks the monies were being moved.All it took was for the mayor and Pittman to stop trying to make the council look bad.Rege wanted to use the money to operate the city.
Fred R

Dravosburg, PA

#33 Feb 9, 2012
wallfly wrote:
<quoted text>i have never seen somebody so misinformed about a subject and try to pass on their way of thinking as it was someone else.This subject is going away.The city got the papers signed and in one or two weeks the monies were being moved.All it took was for the mayor and Pittman to stop trying to make the council look bad.Rege wanted to use the money to operate the city.
And Cherepko and Elash cost the city big money. How is life in the land of make believe.
Blame Game

Mckeesport, PA

#34 Feb 10, 2012
Fred R wrote:
<quoted text>
And Cherepko and Elash cost the city big money. How is life in the land of make believe.
And, the candidate for mayor and for soliciter, wanted to delay Mayor Rege's plan to make Rege look bad and Mike good in November. Mike may have over corrected?

You got it. Cherepko cost the city big bucks on sitting on this $14.6 million and supressing all discussion.

He had the authority and controlled council. How could any sane person believe him when he tries to blame Mr. Pittman.
White Lightning

Mckeesport, PA

#35 Feb 10, 2012
So typical of inexperienced, puppet boys that have no clue, BUT are so afraid someone else might get credit for something. They need so much to feel important.

You see it constantly at varying levels of major corporations & of course, shady local politics.
It stems from putting people into positions far beyond their capabilities.'RELATIVE ABILITY' it is now called.
Cut To The Chase

Dravosburg, PA

#36 Feb 10, 2012
So the consensus is that Cherepko is to blame for all of this right?
Mike Being Used

Mckeesport, PA

#37 Feb 10, 2012
Cut To The Chase wrote:
So the consensus is that Cherepko is to blame for all of this right?
No doubt or question – Mike the is the blame.

Behind the scene the cohorts that went to the Raven/Stealer game were the scheme makers and all made big bucks out of it.

They used Mike because of his council president position and this would usurp credit to Mayor Rege who invented the prepayment plan in May 2011.

The disgraced solicitor sensed an opportunity and contacted his friend, who was with him at the Stealer game, to move on the plan and to put it all together. The disgraced solicitor got a big payoff for helping out MACM to a tune of $25,000.

I doubt Mike knew the scheme details and was anointed with leading the charge as a mayor favorite. Now he is being hung out to dry because the city lost $100,000 on no interest for months.

Mike has no choice. Mike has to shift the blame and he put the crosshairs on the city administrator and controller. But he forgot that neither of them have a vote. It was the four puppets he controlled that voted for it. He controlled them now the buck (and I mean many bucks) stop at his desk.

This and Crashgate could eventually be a very significant, unexpected, and shocking game changer. This has some elements of malfeasance and deception and obstruction of justice that may have to be explained to law enforcement officials.
Compare

Wexford, PA

#38 Feb 12, 2012
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailynewsmcke...

McKeesport officials clash during city budget talks

By Jennifer R. Vertullo, MCKEESPORT DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Read more: McKeesport officials clash during city budget talks - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

What began as a brief, well-outlined budget discussion for McKeesport council ended in clashing tempers over a $14 million fund that remains untouched in a city savings account.

City administrator Dennis Pittman returned to council chambers Tuesday evening with a re-worked 2012 budget that aligns $17,967,702.23 in revenues with $17,966,738.86 in expenditures " bringing the presented balance to a $963.37 surplus.

While that announcement appeared to be a positive step after last week's apparent $67,000 shortfall because of revised liquid fuels reimbursement figures from PennDOT, Councilman Darryl Segina took issue with approximately $43,000 budgeted to fund donations made with deferred compensation from former Mayor James Brewster's salary.

Those funds were to be distributed through a "James R. Brewster Grant" approved by council earlier this year, but the transactions were never completed.

"I felt it would add some clarity to the budget, because this issue remains unresolved," Pittman said.

Upon receiving questions from council, Pittman said removing it from the budget on both sides " revenue and expenditures " would have no impact on the spending plan.

Segina said removing this controversial item and clarifying other minor points helped put the budget in a positive light for him.

And the conversation remained calm until Pittman mentioned the remaining $14 million from the city's transaction with the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport in which MACM pre-paid a $24 million mortgage on the purchase of its sewer lines from the city.

That $14 million is intended to serve as a consistent revenue source for budget years 2012, 2013 and 2014 as it lays groundwork for financial plans in 2015.

Pittman expressed the same opinion that he should not require approval to move funds from a non-interest bearing account to one that can make even the smallest profit on the $14 million in holding.

When council approved the plan in the summer, however, it was designed that any move with those funds require council's formal consent. The administration must seek approval from a council majority before funds can be touched.

"It was designed that way," council president and Mayor-elect Michael Cherepko said. "When I am sitting there in a month, I can't do anything with it either. This money is in the hands of council the way we wanted."

Pittman brought up an approximate $12,000 fee that will be assessed to the PFM Group for a third-party analysis of the financial road taken with remaining funds.

"We still haven't and can't move our money," he said. "There seems to continue to be a disconnect of process. We need to clarify that for everyone's sake."

Pittman became irate, insisting he does not need to pay $12,000 to move city money from one account to another.

Cherepko and city controller Ray Malinchak confirmed that fee is related to financial observation and is not attached to any particular transaction.

Councilors said they would like to hear complete details on all investment opportunities before making a final decision on how to invest the $14 million. Cherepko said he will provide that opportunity, but he does not want to see council make risky decisions or gamble with taxpayers' money.

Cherepko adjourned the meeting and left arguing with Pittman and current Mayor Regis McLaughlin.

Read more: McKeesport officials clash during city budget talks - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailynewsmcke...
Retro

Wexford, PA

#39 Feb 12, 2012
The groundhog seen shadows everywhere.
Troublemaker

Pittsburgh, PA

#40 Feb 12, 2012
Retro wrote:
The groundhog seen shadows everywhere.
Six more weeks of dummy-up?

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