Updated: Jan 27
By Jamie Wiggan
In the wake of former President Paul Krisby’s unexpected resignation, council members elected a slate of new leaders during a business meeting Jan. 12.
Emerging as the leader of a head-to-head contest with Councilmember Chas Maritz, Councilmember Archie Brinza became the new president by a 6-1 vote.
Council also appointed Leslie Gee as its new vice president and Liz Delgado as president pro tempore (third in line to preside over council should president and vice president be unavailable). Although former Vice President Kathy Evich has not resigned her seat, ongoing health issues have forced her to frequently miss meetings in recent months.
First elected to council in November 2019, Brinza has on multiple occasions presided over meetings when Krisby and Evich have been absent.
Responding to the nomination, Brinza paid tribute to Krisby, who cited health concerns when he tendered his resignation with immediate effect Jan. 8.
“He helped me get me involved in this,” Brinza said. “Under his leadership we’ve come a long way, and I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
Brinza also commended former fire chief Nick Radoycis for 38 years of service to the borough.
During a later interview, Brinza said he intends to focus on giving voice to the people of his hometown and vowed to work with all members of an often-divided council.
“This isn’t about individuals, this is about McKees Rocks Borough,” he said. “There are a lot of great people in this town.”
Council also voted to advertise Krisby’s vacated position to eligible candidates during the meeting. It must appoint a replacement within 30 days of Jan. 12, when Krisby’s resignation was accepted.
Sewage rate changes
to be finalized Jan. 21
Also during the meeting, council discussed raising the borough’s sewage rates from $4.33 to $6.00 per 1000 gallons.
Having advertised an ordinance reflecting the new changes, the borough is set to vote on the matter at a special council meeting set for 1 p.m. on Jan. 21. Councilmembers did not indicate how they plan to vote, although during discussions the previous month, several cited concerns about raising rates during a pandemic.
Presenting the rate change, Manager Ruth Pompey said the borough’s sewage fund ran up a negative balance in 2020, indicating a need for increased fees.
“ALCOSAN critical repairs are costing us a lot of money,” she said.
The raises under discussion refer to the borough’s portion of the billing, which is separate from the fees charged by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN). In order to fund a county-wide infrastructure overhaul, ALCOSAN has raised rates over the past several years, including new hikes this year.