Photo by Lynne Deliman
Former fire chief Nicholas Radoycis was sworn-in by Megan Turnbull as a new McKees Rocks council member during the Feb. 9 meeting.
By Jamie Wiggan
The McKees Rocks council unanimously appointed former fire chief Nicholas Radoycis to fill the vacancy created by former president Paul Krisby’s resignation in January.
Former President Kathy Evich’s seat was meanwhile filled by second-ward resident John
Malesnick, after her resignation was accepted immediately prior to the appointments at the beginning of the Feb. 9 business meeting.
Initially an applicant for Krisby’s seat, Vice President Leslie Walker nominated Malesnick as a replacement for Evich when council opted to move ahead with filling her vacancy immediately. He won the seat by a
5–1 majority, with Councilwoman Liz Delgado supplying the dissenting vote.
A third applicant for Krisby’s seat, Lisa Considine, was not put forward for a roll-call vote after the two positions were filled.
However, Delgado indicated her support for Considine.
Council did not discuss the merits of any of the three candidates or disclose details of their application letters at any time before or after the votes were cast.
Radoycis, already at the virtual-only meeting to receive recognition for his tenure as fire chief, was immediately sworn in by Mayor Jack Muhr and took up his seat on council for the rest of the meeting.
Radoycis, who led the volunteer fire department for 28 years, also chairs the borough’s zoning appeals board and serves on its civil service commission.
Both new members were appointed only to fulfill the remainder of the vacated terms, and will have to run for public election in November to retain their seats beyond then.
President Archie Brinza recognized Evich’s service to council before accepting her resignation.
Evich’s reasons for stepping down were not disclosed, however in recent years she has been forced to frequently miss meetings on account of poor health.
“It’s a sad day because she’s a great lady,” he said. “Ever since I’ve known her, she’s been involved in ward two.”
Brinza also paid homage to Radoycis in a short speech delivered immediately before his appointment to council.
“The borough of McKees Rocks, its residents and councilmembers would like to congratulate Chief Nick Radoycis on his 38 years of service with the McKees Rocks Volunteer Fire Department,” Brinza said.
Presenting Radoycis with a plaque honoring his service, Brinza also noted Radoycis’ role in elevating training requirements and upgrading the department’s equipment under his 28-year tenure as chief.
Radoycis retired at the end of 2020, following a leadership reshuffle in November where volunteers elected Don Baird as their new chief.
Responding to the award, Radoycis complimented Baird on his achievement and said he was confident of the department’s condition moving forward.
“I think that the fire department now is the best it’s been in the 38 years.”