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Memo from the Mayor

Mayor Donald J. Baumgarten


To my fellow citizens:

    As you know, the Port Authority wanted to close two LRT stops in Castle Shannon and was successful in closing one (Martin Villa). This was supposed to increase efficiency and decrease the time that it takes to travel to downtown Pittsburgh.

    Of course, as anyone who lives here can tell you, this really didnít make any difference in time, not when a train sometimes has to sit at Willow Avenue and Castle Shannon Boulevard for over two and a half minutes for three traffic light changes.

    The Port Authority and the state legislature of course blamed the union for their financial situation. But wasnít it management that gave the wages and benefits that the union is not forced to (in part) give up? Did you ever wonder why no stops were touched on the Overbrook Line? That is because that line was built with federal money and cannot be touched. We must understand that mass transit cannot exist without public funding and it is up to Harrisburg and Allegheny County to figure out how to come up with it.

    In another vein, on a recent trip through central Ohio (not on any interstate) I couldnít help but notice abandoned and rusting manufacturing plants, homes for sale or boarded up, and very few people around. This area is part of what is known as Mid-America, and Mid-America is slowly disappearing as our economy continues to go in the tank. How can we put people back to work if we donít manufacture anything? And how can we continue to outsource jobs instead of putting our own people to work?

    And finally, we can put a Land Rover on Mars, but we canít build a car that gets 50 miles per gallon until 2025.

    Mayor Donald Baumgarten To my fellow citizens,

You may have read or heard criticisms of our decision to switch the borough's emergency dispatching service from South Hills Regional Dispatch Center to the Allegheny County dispatch center. These criticisms were primarily concerning response times and the ability to communicate with other police and EMS departments. There are those who say we are putting money savings ahead of public health, safety and welfare.

These are the facts: Castle Shannon will save nearly $100,000 annually. There has been no increase in response times since January 1, 2005 when the police began to be dispatched by the county, and since February 8, 2005 when Medical Rescue Team South began to be dispatched by the county; and finally, the ability to communicate with other public safety entities has not been a problem.

I do not want to be redundant because there are other articles in the newsletter concerning the 911 system, so please refer to them for additional comments.

*****


Spring is finally upon us and it's time to remind our residents to keep our community clean to protect property values. One unsightly property has a tendency to ruin an entire neighborhood. Most people in Castle Shannon keep their homes and businesses litter-free. There are always a few, however, who don't seem to care about their properties or their neighbors.

The police department and the codes enforcement officer will aggressively issue warnings, and, if necessary, write citations to those who allow weeds, trash, building materials, junk cars, or other types of eyesores to accumulate.

Thank you,


Mayor Donald Baumgarten

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