Commissioners have a lot on their plates, and they need input from residents of all ages and from all parts of town in order to make desicions that will benefit the entire community. They know it’s hard, particularly for young working parents or elderly people, to attend the public meetings, which begin at 8 p.m. and can last as late as 11 or 11:30—and they don’t want to make decisions based on the comments of a vocal minority. So they’re looking for other ways to connect with residents. One thing they’ll be trying for the first time this month is making themselves available at busy spots around town on the morning of Saturday, September 22. They’ll be waiting to introduce themselves to you, answer your questions and also will have printed information regarding how to obtain a voter ID for those who might need one, so that everyone can vote in the November elections. Look for them at the following places: Dave Brumfield, post office/ Galleria; Matt Kluck, golf course; Kristin Linfante, library; JohnBendel, Beverly Road, and Kelly Fraasch, Uptown at the municipal building/Rolliers.
If this effort is well-received, the commissioner will plant to get out and about more often. They’re looking for non-traditional ways to interact with the community. Some are holding informal coffees. Others are door-knocking. All welcome your phone calls and emails. (Do not hesitate to contact your commissioner. Responding to your concerns is part of the job.) To find out who your commissioner is and contact him/her, go to http://www.mtlebanon.org/index.aspx?nid=28 .
Here’s a quick overview of some of the small-to-huge issues the commission will be addressing in the coming months, some of which are sure to affect you and your family: the 2013 budget, $1 million in improvements to parks and recreation facilities, transit oriented development, an engineering study of the north and south parking garages, traffic and traffic calming issues, the deer problem, upkeep of neighborhood planting areas, regulation of farm animals, a program that would address vacant properties, a skateboard ordinance, how to fully utilize the former 911 communications center, security in the municipal building, the merits of development tools such as TIF and LERTA, pavement and street reconstruction, the historic preservation board’s quest to nominate part of Mt. Lebanon to the National Register of Historic Places and ways to promote better cooperation between the municipality and the school district.
If you have an interest in an issue but can’t make meetings (first Tuesday and second Monday of the month, discussion session at 6:30, regular meeting at 8 p.m), here are a couple of suggestions that could keep you in the loop. 1) Check out the commission agendas and minutes when they are posted on line at http://www.mtlebanon.org/index.aspx?nid=63, usually the Friday before a meeting. 2) If there is something on the agenda of particular interest to you, watch the meeting on cable TV in the days following. Taped, unedited commission meetings are aired on Verizon 34 and Comcast 17 according to the following schedule: Tuesday, 7 p.m., Wednesday, 2 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m., Friday, 10 p.m. and Saturday, 5 p.m. 3) Call or e-mail your commissioner with your questions or comments.
Depending on the issue, you may want to talk a municipal staff member before contacting your commissioner. The department heads, who report to Municipal Manager Steve Feller, are responsible for carrying out the policies of the commission and keeping the municipality running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. For a staff directory, go to http://www.mtlebanon.org/Directory.aspx. If you don’t know what department you need to call, contact the public information office, 412-343-3407, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already savvy about municipal communications, but to ensure you get all the information you need to participate in your local government, we hope you’ll also read your print MTL magazine, visit www.mtlebanon.org frequently, visit and “like” our MTL Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/mtlebanonmagazine ,check out cable channels 17 and 34, and, most important, sign up for LeboALERT, https://leboalert.mtlebanon.org. LeboALERT is a free service that allows you to receive emergency and non-emergency notifications by email or text and in some cases phone. You can choose the categories you wish to hear about and change your preferences as often as you wish.
And, if you’re passionate about something, we’d still love to see you at a commission meeting. No appointment necessary!