By Jamie Wiggan
Requests to council submitted by two candidates opposing incumbent Mayor Jack Muhr in the Democratic primary were both denied during the April 13 McKees Rocks meeting.
Mayoral candidate Dave Flick’s efforts to demolish an abandoned building and incorporate the lot into his backyard were stalled by concerns raised about the precise boundaries of the property in question.
Council’s Nick Radoycis, who as chair of the real estate committee introduced the topic, said there’s a possibility the abandoned home on Grant Way overlaps onto a borough-owned right of way. He said to ensure that’s not the case Flick should conduct a survey at his own expense.
“The question becomes, where is the border?” Radoycis said.
“If the borough’s going to abandon part of a right of way, you’ve got to know what you’re abandoning.” Council voted 6-3 to delay the application for a second time until a survey is conducted.
President Archie Brinza and councilmembers Chas Maritz, Joe Mixter, Craig Meyers and John Malesnick joined with Radoycis in passing the vote. Liz Delgado, Sarah Harvey and Vice President Leslie Walker opposed.
Other community members weighing in during public comments suggested council was splitting hairs and holding back residents from tearing down a blighted building and returning the property to the tax rolls at their own expense.
Former councilmember Maribeth Taylor, who said she lives near the vacant property, said the house was built 120 years ago, and the walkable alley behind it has never been maintained by the borough during her lifetime. “Looking at all the information, you would think that the property in question was surveyed not one but probably three or more times,” she said.
"Apparently, there were no questions then about the property lines. I do not understand why after 120 years suddenly there are.”
In related news, Mayoral hopeful Tristan Yoder also had a request turned down by the council majority that caucuses with incumbent Muhr.
Yoder had applied to host a candidate meet and greet event on borough-owned Ranger’s Field — but his request was denied without explanation April 13.
The vote was split 5-4, with Walker, Harvey, Delgado and Meyers approving. Radoycis, Malesnick, Maritz, Mixter and Brinza opposed.
Yoder said he had invited all four mayoral candidates to participate, with only Muhr declining the offer.