In college on the eastern side of the state, I met the woman who would eventually become my wife, though at the time she paid me little attention. Amy was a feisty athlete from Munhall, a small Pittsburgh suburb. I had a similar small-town upbringing with a family that had an eerily similar background to hers. Our shared values fueled our journey to several states across the country, knowing that ultimately, we would end up where we began—right here in Pittsburgh.
We’ve lived in the same house in Sunset Hills since we moved in nearly six years ago and have two daughters who attend Mt. Lebanon schools. We love our neighborhood and our neighbors, and we can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Service to the community is important to us. It drives my interest in serving on the Mt. Lebanon Commission, and it drives Amy’s work as Christian education director for Bower Hill Community Church. Service is also a value we work hard to instill in our children. We believe service forges an unbreakable bond between friends, neighbors and the community that will travel wherever life may lead.
But sometimes service can be difficult. We are often faced with issues presented as being black and white and then are pressured to choose one side or the other. It happens in every facet of our lives. We must resist people who attempt to divide us—to pit neighbor against neighbor. We must reject the notion that political or ideological differences give us cause to act disrespectfully toward one another. It’s OK to disagree. At some point, we will not see eye to eye on an issue, but when that happens, we must be willing to have an open and honest discussion. Mutual respect for the experiences of our neighbors will always lead us in the right direction.
Make no mistake, despite my eternal optimism, there are challenging issues we must tackle in Mt. Lebanon, from aging sanitary and storm sewers to development (or conservation) of our limited supply of open space; from refusing to tolerate discrimination to being judicious with the projects we choose to fund and how we fund them.
Thankfully, our community is filled with a veritable A-list of professionals. I’m convinced there’s nothing we can’t accomplish when we choose to work together with our staff, our teachers and our first responders—all of whom care deeply about our residents and are invested in the success of Mt. Lebanon.
As I write this, my time as commissioner has been just little more than a week, but I’ve already received dozens of emails and phone calls from engaged residents on a wide range of important topics. My fellow commissioners and I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Please keep them coming! My door is always open to you. Stop in and say hello, or send me a note via email. I promise a swift reply.
It is an honor to serve the residents of Mt. Lebanon. I am humbled by the amazing accomplishments of those who have come before me, and excited to stand with you in our enduring effort to keep Mt. Lebanon the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.
Ward 4: Craig Grella
Term Expires: December 31, 2021
Resident: Meridian Drive
- B.S. in civil and environmental engineering, Lehigh University
- Founder and executive director, OrgSpring—a Mt. Lebanon based nonprofit organization that creates websites and applications for other nonprofits.
- Digital Operations Director, Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Managed the digital operations for the state party, including its online fundraising, email and social media applications.
- Civil engineer, Langan Engineering. Designed and supervised construction of commercial, industrial and residential developments throughout the east coast.
- Bower Hill Community Church
- National, regional and local nonprofits and civic groups including the ACLU, Urban Land Institute, Justice for Our Neighbors, among others.