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Working Together For A Better McKeesport
Spring is a time for new beginnings, and as I settle into the first year of my second term as Mayor, I am excited to share my renewed enthusiasm for community growth with the people of McKeesport.
I am always happy to discuss positive strides being made by my administration, the city’s many volunteer groups, and residents who have embraced my motto of “Working Together for a Better McKeesport.”
In this spring edition of the In McKeesport Area magazine, readers will learn about individuals who are doing their part to make McKeesport a better place to live, recreational programming guaranteed to please area residents of all ages, and city initiatives that could boost our revenue.
As the McKeesport Message Committee, a sub-group of the Mayor’s Select Committee on Crime and Violence, continues to promote its message of “Respect, Dignity, Hope, and Love,” we are finding individuals all over town to represent these four words in the professional world and their personal lives. The spring 2016 “Living the Message” awardees are Bobbie Billsborrow, Respect; Chris Preston, Dignity; George Smith, Hope; and Masoud Sayles, Love.
The City of McKeesport is home to a wealth of opportunities for people of all ages to enhance their daily lives and even their futures. Young people have a new program in their backyard with the Community Empowerment Association bringing its Workforce Development and Training Initiative to McKeesport. This program, already successful in Pittsburgh, will now serve the Mon Valley from our city.
In addition to new educational opportunities, this magazine will share the City of McKeesport’s impressive calendar of spring and summer activities. With recreation director Jim Brown hard at work in planning new softball and basketball leagues, the city is ready for a boost in athletic offerings in Renziehausen Park. The calendar also includes an exciting event for the city’s playful youth – a Grand Opening for our Renzie Spray Ground. On June 13th this state-of-the-art aquatic play area will be unveiled.
The city’s many recreational programs are made possible by dedicated groups of volunteers who take time to plan and promote them. Without these great people, McKeesport wouldn’t have the resources to put on great events such as International Village, the McKeesport Rib Fest and the McKeesport Lions Club’s Summer Concert Series. The best way to guarantee these programs remain a part of the McKeesport community for years to come is by attending them with our friends and families.
We also had an energetic group of volunteers brave the cold on Martin Luther King Day to participate in community service around Renziehausen Park. Penn State University students and staff from various Western Pennsylvania campuses cleared garbage, tree limbs and other debris from grassy areas. This was a great service to our Public Works Department, whose crews saved hours of labor in their effort to get Renzie ready for spring.
Not only am I thankful for the countless volunteers who dedicate their time to make McKeesport a better place to live and work, but I must thank the city’s staff for doing their part. On a daily basis, we strive to increase our revenue through delinquent tax collection and helping people remain current on their bills. We also are increasing the city’s collection of small fees, including parking. Parking fees and the ticketing process are outlined in this edition.
Last but not least, I must offer a special ‘thank you’ to a generous resident who chose to give back to the community he’s been a part of for his entire life. Julius Bakos Sr. donated funds for much needed equipment in the city’s police, re and public works departments. Not only did Mr. Bakos make this donation out of love for his hometown, but he did it out of love for his late son Julius Bakos Jr.
I encourage everyone in the McKeesport community to read about the great things that are happening in our city. I wish each of you a safe and happy spring, and I hope to see you all in Renzie Park this summer.