Politics

Council Gives No Answers on Police Chief

Former councilwoman Judy Dici submitted a series of questions at the last Ellwood City Council meeting regarding the investigation and research done before eliminating the position of Chief of Police. At the Monday, May 19 meeting, Dici got her list of answers, but not necessarily the ones that she wanted. Borough Manager Bob Villella responded to Dici’s questions with the following answer: “The information you have requested is part of the confidential deliberative process a Borough Council is authorized to engage and the Executive Session is such a forum where the general public is not authorized to attend. This information…


Citizens Question Council on Police Chief Elimination

The Ellwood City Council voted to eliminate the position of Chief of Police at a special meeting held on Monday, May 5. A short statement was released to the public the following day by council’s solicitor, Edward Leymarie, regarding the decision. The position’s eradication seemed to have come as a surprise to most community members. Controversy over whether this special meeting was properly advertised immediately erupted. In a meeting held to ratify the council’s decision prior to the scheduled meeting yesterday evening, Leymarie stated that last week’s meeting was announced twice in the Ellwood City Ledger. Despite council’s justifications, Ellwood…


Chief of Police Position Eliminated

The Ellwood City Borough Council, at an advertised public meeting on May 5, 2014, voted to eliminate the position of Chief of Police in a vote of 5-2, effective immediately. In accordance with the Borough Code, the mayor will continue to have full charge and control of the police force which includes directing the time, place and manner in which the police perform their duties, as well as determining the delegation of duties over the department.


No Picture

Real Estate Agents Encourage Attendance at Council Meeting

On Monday, the Ellwood City borough council will vote on whether or not to implement a new inspection code ordinance. If it passes, and a betting person would say it will, then all residential, not commercial, buildings in the borough will require code inspections prior to sale. What does this mean for residents? Anyone planning on buying, selling or renting real estate must comply with a strict structural code. If the building or structure fails to meet code standards, then the owner must either pay for significant repair costs or receive less return on their investment. Also, the inspection costs…


Ellwood School Board Cuts Music Teacher Position

“I’m asking you to reconsider hiring an Elementary Music Teacher,” Renee Pitrelli, a parent at yesterday’s Board meeting, said. “It would be in the school district’s best interest even just part-time.” Last night’s Ellwood City School Board meeting seemed to be much more mild than the one last month. The flood of forty parents concerned over the Elementary Music Teacher position who rushed May’s meeting dwindled down to six yesterday. With the budget to be decided, it seemed like most of the supporters had already given up hope before receiving the final decision. For those of you who don’t know,…


Borough Ordinance Now Allows Free Parking After 5 P.M.

At a special Ellwood City Council meeting held last Thursday, borough council changed its parking enforcement rules to now allow free parking after 5 p.m. within the borough. This comes after a wave of parking tickets were issued on Lawrence Avenue during business after-hours. Over 25 tickets have now been voided per the request of Mayor Anthony Court. The original metering ordinance called for enforcement from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. but had gone largely unnoticed until the wave of ticketing after 6 p.m. in late-February was brought to light. This also comes after a meeting in January when council…


Borough Manager Announces Retirement

As he flipped through an album of Ellwood City photos from years gone by, Dom Viccari had a glow in his eyes. Viccari loves Ellwood City, but he said it’s time to step down as borough manager—a job he has proudly held since April of 2006. Viccari announced his retirement at Monday’s borough council meeting. Viccari talked about the opening of the Emporium and many other celebrations over the years with a hint of nostalgia. His smile grew wide as he flipped the photo album’s pages and talked about the 90 feet of birthday cakes that was a highlight at…


Ellwood Schools to Add Armed Security Guards

Ellwood City School District voted unanimously on Thursday to implement armed security guards to each of their district schools beginning in a matter of weeks. According to the district superintendent Frank Aloi, they will have an armed security guard at each of their four schools, one at Lincoln High School and one at Perry, Hartman and North Side elementary schools, as part of an increase in their school security and safety. Aloi said they hope to have the security guards make their presence in the schools within two to three weeks. The group providing the security service, OSA Global, is…


A New Nativity Scene to Be Unveiled

Ellwood City borough workers began setting up holiday decorations on the front lawn of the Municipal Building on Friday; yet, one display was missing – the Nativity Scene. Because of a threatened lawsuit by Freedom from Religion Foundation of Madison, Wis., the Nativity Scene will be off borough property for the first time in over 50 years. Instead, a Santa Claus and snowman decorate the spot formerly reserved for the religious display. With the help of attorney Joseph Bellissimo, a new nativity will be erected a few blocks away from its former spot. Bellissimo, owner of the former St. Agatha…


Board Discusses Fate of Former Elementary School

Last month, Walnut Ridge Elementary School was officially closed. Now, the school board is prepared to sell the once smallest of the district’s elementary schools. This decision is coupled with the selling of Ewing Park school’s contents – a school that was also a former elementary school in the district. All the members of the Ellwood City School Board were in favor Thursday night of receiving an appraisal and exploring the sale of the Walnut Ridge school building. In its final school year, Walnut Ridge held approximately 140 students. Because of its size, the district, facing huge deficits from the…