Welcome aboard to Steve Silverman, the new Ward 2 Commissioner. Silverman, a native of Churchill, earned a political science degree from the University of Rochester, and an M.B.A. in management planning and control from The George Washington University. He and his wife, Laurey Simkin-Silverman, met in 1993 and have three daughters. They moved to Mt. Lebanon in 2000. Laurey is a research professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Silverman is controller, vice president of purchasing and co-owner of General Wire Spring Co. in McKees Rocks, a company his grandfather founded in 1930. The company manufactures sewer and drain cleaning equipment and specialty springs.
His position as commissioner comes after years of volunteer service in Mt. Lebanon. He was the chairman of the pension investment advisory board from 2009 through 2013 and also served on the parking facilities advisory board and the school board’s tax study commission.
Silverman is treasurer of the Veterans Breakfast Club and has been a coach and sponsor of the Mt. Lebanon Girls Softball Association. He is a member of Temple Emanuel of the South Hills.
Silverman believes Mt. Lebanon will have several challenges during his four-year term.
“Deer is a big issue. I’m concerned from a safety standpoint,” he says. While he was knocking on doors during the campaign, he says “many folks said we need to do something about the deer. … Now the question is, what is it?” He says he will work toward finding a solution that is cost-effective, humane and safe.
Another initiative that will present some challenges is the planned turfing of Middle and Wildcat fields. Accomplishing this objective will involve working with the sports groups that have committed to raising funds, looking into the feasibility of installing eco-friendly turf and devising a cooperative maintenance contract with the school district.
Silverman sees the turf as an economic development opportunity. For example, Mt. Lebanon lacrosse teams have had to practice in other communities because we do no have enough fields here. “If we are able to keep the practices in Mt. Lebanon, ancillary spending can happen,” he says, noting that restaurants, ice cream places and even gas stations selling Gatorade could increase sales.
He adds that he thinks teams waiting to play in baseball tournaments on the Cedar Boulevard fields will hop up to the swimming pool and patronize it. “It’s a way to both keep people and get people in Mt. Lebanon.”
Fundraising is always a challenge, but Silverman thinks that elected officials and committed residents working together can come up with a successful plan. “It’s that creativity,” he says.