The following elected officials were present: K. Brannon, M. Cheberenchick, N. Kovach; D. Swisher; M. Warhold; D. Baumgarten; S. Torris. Council Members J. O’Malley and V. Smith were absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Borough Manager; K. Truver, Police Chief; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; D. Biondo, Solicitor; B. Fabbio, Junior Council Member.
The minutes of the August 11, 2014 council meeting were presented. Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Ms. Kovach opened the public comment section of the meeting. Being none, the public comment section was closed.
Mr. Hartswick presented Ordinance #896 – An ordinance requiring all persons, partnerships, businesses, and corporations to obtain a permit for any construction or development; providing for the issuance of such permits; setting forth certain minimum requirements for new construction and development subject to flooding; and establishing penalties for any persons who fail, or refuse to comply with, the requirements or provisions of this ordinance. Mr. Swisher motioned to adopt Ordinance #896 at its first reading; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Presentation of Award:
Ms. Kovach introduced Mayor Jim Nowalk of Whitehall Borough and president of the Pennsylvania State Association of Mayors. Mayor Nowalk described the nomination process for selecting the Mayor of the Year, and stated that seventeen nominations were received in 2013. Mayor Baumgarten nominated by Borough Manager Tom Hartswick, and the recipient of the award was selected by a committee of his peers.
Mayor Nowalk described Mayor Baumgarten’s forty-five years of service to Castle Shannon as auditor, council member, council president and mayor. In addition, Mayor Baumgarten was co-founder and a board member of Medical Rescue Team South Authority for thirty-nine years, a member of the Shriners Hospital for Children for fifty-one years, an active member of the Pennsylvania State Mayors’ Association and Allegheny County Mayors Association, the host of an International Mayors Seminar organized through the South Hills Area Council of Governments, and a member of the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department.
Mayor Baumgarten’s work on the Shannon Transit Village (a Transit Oriented Development) has truly made him an outstanding candidate for the mayor’s award. He was appointed to a committee established by the Port Authority Transit; assisted in the selection of a developer for the large park-n-ride lot on Mount Lebanon Boulevard; and secured an instrumental meeting with former Pennsylvania State Governor Rendell to attain a nearly $5,000,000 Redevelopment Capital Assistant Program Grant in conjunction with previous commitments totaling $2,000,000 to finalize the construction of the village’s deck and infrastructure. Mayor Baumgarten was instrumental in negotiations between the borough, Keystone Oaks School District and Allegheny County to help create the Tax Increment Financing District necessary for this project. This Transit Oriented Development will be a $40,000,000 project and is the largest of its kind west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Mayor Nowalk presented the prestigious 2014 Pennsylvania State Mayor of the Year award to Mayor Donald J. Baumgarten of Castle Shannon for distinguished and meritorious service and community leadership.
Congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District stated that he and Mayor Baumgarten have been friends since the congressman campaigned for senator several years ago. Congressman Murphy described the mayor’s dedication to the Grove Road Bridge Replacement project that was started many years ago. The project would have cost $2.5 million if completed by Penndot, however through the mayor’s initiative and the borough’s innovation the project was completed for a fraction of that cost. Congressman Murphy then presented a proclamation from the Congress of the United States House Of Representatives recognizing Mayor Donald Baumgarten’s receipt of the 2014 Pennsylvania Mayor of the Year award.
Senator Wayne Fontana discussed the persistence of Mayor Baumgarten in moving the Shannon Transit Village project forward and presented him with a Senate Citation recognizing the mayor’s forty-five years of service to Castle Shannon Borough and congratulating him on receiving the Pennsylvania Mayor of the Year award.
State Representative Erin Molchany stated that Mayor Baumgarten has been a friend, an ally, a colleague, and a role model. She added that it has been an honor and privilege to represent the people of Castle Shannon, and work with the mayor on various projects. Representative Molchany presented a citation to Mayor Baumgarten which states that the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lauds the Honorable Donald J. Baumgarten on his well-deserved honor; affirmatively states that he stands as a role model worth of emulation; and wishes him every future success and happiness.
Ms. Kovach stated that Mayor Baumgarten has been a counselor, friend, advisor and mentor to her and every member on borough council, and he is well deserving of this honor.
Mayor: Mayor Baumgarten stated the receipt of the award was a surprise, and he is very honored to have Congressman Murphy, Senator Fontana, Representative Molchany and District Justice David Barton attend this council meeting. The mayor thanked his wife of 62 years, Ruth Baumgarten, for her support and was happy his children Donna and Cheryl were present this evening. Mayor Baumgarten also thanked his family, friends, former and present council members, peers, police officers and administration staff that appeared tonight to attend the award ceremony.
In summary, Mayor Baumgarten was overwhelmed by the show of support from everyone in the room, and thanked everyone for attending.