On Tuesday, January 3, at 8 p.m., The Hon. Alex Bicket of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas swore in three new Mt. Lebanon Commissioners, John Bendel, Ward 1; Kelly Fraasch, Ward 5, and Kristen Linfante, Ward 3. The new commissioners will serve 4-year terms ending December 31, 2015. All are Democrats, so, with the addition of Commission President Dave Brumfield, who was elected last night, the commission now is composed of four Democrats and one Republican, Commissioner Matt Kluck, who was elected vice president last night. This breakdown may be surprising to people who remember the days when Mt. Lebanon was a Republican bastion, but as the community moves forward in the 21st century, the breakdown is more evenly divided among political parties and, as demonstrated in the last general election, residents do not necessarily vote along party lines.
The five commissioners bring a wealth of professional and volunteer experience to the community and all have indicated a strong desire to work together cooperatively to move forward on projects currently under way and to set priorities for new initiatives they would like to consider in the coming year. Many people in the crowd, which included staff, the commissioners’ families and members of the community expressed pleasure that the commission would once again include women. The last woman to serve on the Commission was Barbara Logan, who represented Ward 2 for three terms but retired four years ago.
Judge Bicket, who lives in Mt. Lebanon and was elected in November, added a pleasant note to the event when prior to the swearing in ceremony he announced that it was his first day in office and the first time he had worn his judicial robes.
A casual reception open to the entire municipal staff and member of the public who attended the meeting, including children, followed. Reflective of the commission’s commitment to transparency, the reception was a change from previous years, when it was typical for only the commission and staff to gather to celebrate.