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Dormont Council Plans to Consider Motions Regarding Pitcher Park

Dormont Council members plan to vote on several motions next week regarding Pitcher Park, but they are not planning a blanket vote against or in favor of the project.

plans to take action next week regarding the Pitcher Park issue, but the action won’t involve voting for or against the proposed skate park.

Instead, council plans to vote on at least three motions that could help bring order to what council President Bill McCartney called a “horrible conundrum.”

The first would be to advertise an ordinance to ratify the April 5, 2010 motion passed by the previous council members, as well as the resulting for the multi-use park proposed by the Pitcher Park Foundation.

regarding the borough’s responsibility to the Pitcher Park Foundation earlier this month. But Councilwoman Laurie Malka said she wanted council to get another legal opinion on the matter before any decisions were made.

“Just in reading the information, there are a lot of questions about some of the comments that were made in the opinion letter,” she said. “I think we have to get a totally new opinion from another person.”

The second motion would be to appoint a committee of between six and 10 borough citizens to develop and propose alternatives to the Pitcher Park Foundation’s plan. Council President Bill McCartney said the wording of that motion likely would change, but that he wanted to propose something along those lines.

“My thinking, and clearly this would be up to many people, including the Pitcher Park Foundation, is that we’ve gotten ourselves into a horrible conundrum that we’ve got to try to find our way out of,” McCartney said. “All we’re going to end up with is a divided community, that goes about it’s way, angry at each other, and it’s time for us … to try to act like adults and try to find some way out of this. I think we can do that.”

McCartney said he wanted the citizen committee to be made up of people representing both sides, but excluding the “lightening rod” people—those who have been most vocal either for or against Pitcher Park. A resident who spoke during the meeting told McCartney he thought it was unfair to exclude those people, many of whom he said had constructive ideas regarding the park. No decision about the citizens group has been made.

McCartney also suggested alternatives based on the 1999 comprehensive plan for Dormont Park could be considered.

The 1999 park plan included ideas for a skate park and skateboard ramps, as well as a sand volleyball court, children’s play areas, batting cages and several other things. As Councilman John Maggio pointed out during the meeting, not all ideas in the plan—including that for a skate park—were indicated as a top need, based on citizen surveys done at the time.

The final motion council plans to consider next week—proposed by Councilwoman Joan Hodson—would set a policy outlining the steps that should be taken by any individual person or organization wanting to make a donation to the borough or to any borough organization.

“We don’t want to discourage any type of donation given to this borough,” Hodson said. “All groups, every organization that wants to donate to this borough will follow the same policy and guidelines. There will be no favoritism given to any one specific group when it comes to making a donation to this borough.”

The next Dormont Council meeting is March 5 at 7 p.m. at the above Dormont pool.

Ed M February 28, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I agree another legal opinion is needed. The 1st one should never had been from the former solicitor or any other solicitor that ever worked for the Borough. Sounds like this is a step in the correct direction.
MSgt. John DeLallo February 29, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Like it or not, the Boro of Dormont is at least responsible for all costs incurred by the folks at Pitcher Park. If indeed the idea is to put a stake in the heart of this memorial, do it, do it now, pay the piper, and learn from your mistakes. Regardless of the solicitor's view, he is incorrect, and he should recuse himself from this action as he stands to make considerable profit in billable hours. For those of you who are prone to look it up for yourself, look up Law of Agency and Doctrine of Estoppel. The MOU, with its attendant signatures, stops the boro from any action where the boro could claim the MOU was out of order, needed an ordinance, etc. Hey, I went to school to learn about contracts.
mary pitcher February 29, 2012 at 05:49 PM
In my opinion, no other project or donation has EVER been handled/treated the way this project and the people involved have been and continue to be by the elected and appointed officials, in the history of the Borough of Dormont. This is an approved project and an agreement has been signed by Dormont Borough. We have materially relied on and taken actions on this approval and mutually signed legal document. The very suggestion that the Pitcher Park group meet with a committee to discuss "alternatives" or "alternatives to the proposal" is against the document both parties signed. We went through a lot of muck, have worked very hard and followed the "democratic process" to have this donation approved in Dormont. President/Mgr McCartney walks into his position and with complete disregard to this contract halted the cores samples from being done "so the residents of Dormont wouldn't think the project was moving forward." ????? The Borough of Dormont did this without the "well researched legal opinion" of council first and did so without contacting our organization AT ALL. I honestly don't care if you are for or against the multi-use park, but it is obvious that the treatment that this project has received from the elected/appointed officials in Dormont is and continues to be completely incomprehensable.
MSgt. John DeLallo February 29, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Scott: I wrote contracts both for, and with, the Federal Government. I'd like to see your citations wherein Estoppel did not apply to a Government agency. I think 40 years in the defense industry, aerospace, and in the military give me a thousand foot view of this travesty. The solicitor should recuse himself from this particular issue as he approved the MOU. Has he magically incarnated himself as the god Janus, looking forward and backward? I am a neutral party so far as improvements to Dormont Park, etc., as I'm no longer a resident. I just hate to see the Boro run roughshod over an individual with enough problems already.
MSgt. John DeLallo February 29, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Mary: I think the word you're looking for is reprehensible. Were I you, I would find that the Boro is in anticipatory breach of contract, and immediately issue a cure notice, giving them not more than 10 calendar days to comply with the MOU, i.e. the "contract", or show good cause why they cannot. You must not delay, as silence is your acceptance of council's thinly veiled effort to stop Pitcher Park.
coreylahey February 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Thank goodness for President McCartney stepping in to take control of this horrible conundrum.
Ed M February 29, 2012 at 07:21 PM
It think reprehensible is too nice of a word to use, John. Apparently a skate park was brought up before the Pitcher Park issue as an improvement to Dormont Park. Now all of a sudden, it's a horrible idea.
MSgt. John DeLallo February 29, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Ed: thank you. This is, however, a family publication that has given me lots of room to address many subjects, including the ever inflammatory gun control issue (I'm pro-gun). I spent a year, during the Vietnam War, stationed with a garrisson of United States Navy personnel on the island of Taiwan. Trust me, when the occassion is just right, those sailors taught me some pretty salty phrases. You have no idea how much restraint goes into my posts about Pitcher Park. I had the concept of the "sanctity of a contract" drilled into my head for over 40 years. Mayhaps council is confusing "sanctimonious" and "sanctity"?

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