commissioner’s column: Kelly Fraasch
As commissioners, we share roles on other committees in the community. Right now, I am liaison for the parks advisory board, Medical Rescue Team South Authority, parking board, Veterans Breakfast Club and the school board. I take these roles as seriously as I do my overall elected position and would like to take this opportunity to share some of their efforts.
The Mt. Lebanon Parks Advisory Board (PAB) has been addressing specific park issues over the past year. The PAB developed a listing of recommended park projects, and a majority of the list was completed. We invested more than $130,000 in our parks, addressed numerous maintenance issues and continue to work on a variety of park needs with community partners. The PAB has a recommended priority list for 2013. One item I personally support is a dog park. The park would be a wonderful space for our residents and their four-legged friends. Other top priorities include preserving and revitalizing our passive-use parks. To keep these parks in decent condition, the PAB recommends addressing some issues now. If you care about our parks, the PAB is an excellent venue to raise your concerns or share your support. The board meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.
Medical Rescue Team South Authority (MRTSA), which serves six communities, has a separate board of directors. Commissioner Dave Brumfield and I became voting members last year (Mt. Lebanon always has two representatives). In these past months, I have learned so much about providing top-notch emergency care. MRTSA has a stellar reputation and is way ahead of similar providers with technology enhancements for medical care. This year, the board took steps to sustain MRTSA as a community asset and open the doors for growth. I could not be prouder of MRTSA’s staff and volunteers.
The parking board is new in 2012. Mt. Lebanon transitioned the parking authority into the municipality. Previously, conversations had taken place regarding the probable need to tear down and rebuild the South Garage and also make extensive repairs to the North Garage—likely at very high price tags. The parking board arranged for a professional evaluation of each garage to assess if the predictions were true. Good news: neither garage is in such deplorable shape that it will need to be knocked down. However, a significant investment in the structures will increase their longevity. Experts say the municipality will need to invest about $3 million over the next three years to maintain our garages in proper shape. This is necessary and will need some follow-through by officials, municipal staff and our parking board. To share ideas about our parking areas, please feel free to attend the parking board’s public meetings the fourth Thursday of each month in the municipal building at 7:30 p.m.
Veterans Breakfast Club, a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for veterans to meet and share their stories, is a new partner in 2013. The organization will plan programs at the Mt. Lebanon Veterans Memorial honoring patriotic holidays. This new partnership offers many possibilities to support our veterans. The first partnership event will be this Memorial Day at 6 p.m. at the veterans memorial off Cedar Boulevard on Morgan Drive.
The school board liaison role was developed in 2012 to address issues of mutual concern to the two governing bodies. School Director Josephine Posti, the commission liaison, and I found a common desire to address the issue of drugs in Mt. Lebanon. Mt. Lebanon isn’t any different than our neighbors. Allegheny County has seen an increase in overdoses, deaths from drug use and crimes attributed to drug use. The school board and the municipality could work hand in hand, making a positive impact on this problem. Bringing together experts, publicizing available resources and finding effective ways of addressing this issue is our goal for this year.
Please visit www.kellyfraasch.com for further information on these topics. Many thanks to our boards and authorities and to the municipal staff for helping continue the momentum.