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W.O. Mayor Breaks Tie on Contract Vote

New four-year agreement between borough, FOP OK’d

By Sarah Turnbull
The Tube City Almanac
April 22, 2021
Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak Council approved a new contract with the union representing borough police officers after the mayor cast the tie-breaking vote.

Council voted 3-3 to adopt the four-year agreement with Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 91, with council members George Pambacas, George Dillinger and Kenneth Robb voting no.

Councilwoman Julie Opferman abstained due to a conflict of interest. Mayor Ina Jean Marton broke the tie.

Pambacas said he voted against the resolution for financial reasons, while Robb expressed concerns about the length of the contract.

“It binds the council to pay more benefits for years to come, when none of us will be on the council anymore,” Robb said.

In May 2018, council approved the previous three-year contract between the borough and the police union. That agreement ran from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2020.
Councilman Louis Bender, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said the contract will gradually increase the percentage of healthcare benefits paid by employees.

Council approved motions, introduced by Bender, to hire a new police officer, and to reject all proposals for animal control.

In other business, the council approved motions to purchase a new woodchipper and pickup truck for the Public Works department, as well as approving bids for the borough facilities, home demolitions and Lincoln Way projects; and the adoption of the Allegheny County 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan.

“We will do whatever the county recommends to us,” Borough Engineer Ken Hillman said.

Vacant homes at 603 Osborne St., 610 Osborne St., 2717 Laurel Lane, 2736 Laurel Lane and 3203 Muse Lane have been added to the borough’s demolition list, he said.

The next council workshop meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m. May 10 at the White Oak Athletic Association. Members of the public are welcome, and social distancing measures are in place.

Sarah Turnbull is a freelance writer in Irwin. She can be reached at sarahturnbull323@gmail.com.

Originally published April 22, 2021.

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