Politics

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Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce Announces New Executive Director

The Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that they have named Lori Wilkerson-Hilliard as the new Executive Director of the Chamber. She will be replacing current Executive Director Terri Stramba, who has held the position for the last three years. “The decision to leave the Chamber to focus on the recent expansion of my family business has been a difficult one, as I love this job,” Stramba said. “However, knowing that Lori shares my passion for the community and the mission of the Chamber makes it easy to move from leading the Chamber…


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Twenty-Five Cameras Installed At Walnut Ridge Complex

On Tuesday, Mayor Anthony J. Court and the Lawrence County Housing Authority (LCHA) members gathered at the Walnut Ridge Housing Authority location to kick off the installation of 25 State of the Art cameras. The Mayor stated the project would be completed in approximately six weeks. Mayor Court stated the changes at this location were inevitable and he is pleased with these improvements. The high definition-digital zoom cameras will be plugged directly into the Ellwood City Police Station and cruisers for on the spot viewing. The Mayor lobbied for these cameras and believes this is a step in the right…


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Council Votes Against Moving Circle Playground Equipment

Nick Mancini raised his concerns at Monday night’s council meeting over the playgrounds in the area. He complained of the poor placement of playground equipment that prohibits local children from playing pickup baseball and football games. During the public comment section of the meeting, Mancini personally asked council members to tour Rolling Hills, Merit Book, West End, Circle and Rosannah Playgrounds and evaluate how good the facilities are. Circle Playground quickly became the main issue as it recently gained new equipment, provided through a state grant. A borough representative decided the location for the new playground addition, and it was…


Ellwood School Board Holds Special Meeting

There has been plenty of talk regarding change in the Ellwood City Area School District for the upcoming school year in recent months. The retirement of Superintendent Frank Aloi is what began the surprising series of events when he announced that he would be leaving the district at last month’s meeting, effective as of July 16, 2014. With no time to hold interviews before the end of the fiscal year, the board named Assistant Superintendent Joe Mancini as the active Superintendent for the 2014-2015 year and eliminated the position of Assistant Superintendent. In less than a month, the school district…


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.


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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…