Duquesne's new Act 47 coordinator is hopeful that the city will be able to exit financially distressed status in the next few years.
George Dougherty Jr. has been appointed by the state to work with the city, which has been considered a distressed municipality for nearly 30 years. He was introduced during the Nov. 27 Duquesne City Council meeting.
Dougherty, who has also worked as Braddock’s Act 47 representative, said he has begun to get familiar with the community and work with the mayor and city manager on developing a budget for Duquesne.
Communities under Act 47 representative must adopt more restrictive spending plans in exchange for the right to have an increased earned income tax rate and favored status on state grant applications.
“We’re going through everything with a fine-tooth comb to ensure it applies to the Act 47 plan,” he said. “We’re beginning to set a basis for a three-year exit plan. 2019 will be the last of the five-year Act 47 plans for Duquesne. Beginning in 2020, we have to get the finances and management in a place where the city will be able to float on our own and come out of Act 47 status. I’m excited to help Duquesne move forward.”
Other personnel changes include the resignation of Sidney Walker from his position in the public works department and the hiring of Demeco Poindexter as the new public works director.
In other business:
Council passed a motion approving the first reading of the 2019 budget and a motion authorizing the city to secure its 2019 Tax Anticipation Note of approximately $450,000.
Council also approved:
Enacting a sexual harassment policy, effective Nov. 14
Appointing Urtax Solutions to prepare combined tax and end-of-year financial statements
Hiring new city employees within the clerical unit.
Council discussed a proposal from Mayor Nickole Nesby to hire an assistant to the mayor to field phone calls and answer correspondence, as well as an entry-level office worker for the city clerk and city treasurer.
Council tabled the decision pending a budget workshop to determine if the city can afford any additional hires.
Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer who covers municipal news from Duquesne, White Oak and other subjects for Tube City Almanac. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published December 13, 2018.