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Duquesne Council OK’s Hiring 2 Officers

Mayor criticizes decision to reject membership in innovation commission

By Nichole Faina
The Tube City Almanac
April 30, 2021
Posted in: Duquesne News

On the second attempt, Duquesne City Council approved a proposal from police Chief Tom Dunlevy to hire two additional officers.

At the April meeting, council agreed to hire the officers after Dunlevy reported that the police department had clocked about 400 hours of overtime pay in the previous month.

Council in March rejected the request for additional personnel.

According to Dunlevy, the overtime included construction details, and federally funded reimbursable overtime for drug investigations. The 400 hours “doesn’t mean the totality of what we had on the streets, that’s the overall number,” he said.

However, council turned down a request from Mayor Nickole Nesby to pay the annual $750 membership fee for the Mayor’s Innovation Project.

Based at the University of Wisconsin, the program provides forums for mayors from across the country to develop urban policies and strategies.

Nesby criticized council’s decision, saying Duquesne’s membership in the project had already brought Harvard University researchers into the city.

“This is the same organization that got us in touch with the University of Pennsylvania Water Center to address the water issues inside the City of Duquesne, and who connected us with the Water for Now Alliance,” Nesby said.

“Maybe you don't understand the (importance) of networking within organizations to help move the city forward,” she told council. “And the reason why the City of Duquesne has been stagnant for so many decades. You actually have to leave outside of the city. And in addition to that, you also have to be proactive instead of reactive.”

In other business, George Dougherty Jr., the city’s Act 47 coordinator, said he submitted revisions to Duquesne’s plan to exit state financial oversight that would extend the deadline until July 2024. The revision is currently under review by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, he said.

Council approved a proposal by Youth Director Cornell Brownsville to hold a community kickball league on Sundays in the Polish Hill big field beginning May 3 through the end of July. The games are open to everyone.

Council also approved:

• Notifying the owner of 129 S. First St. that the building has been declared a public nuisance, and the city intends to demolish the property

• Allocating $250,000 to Glenn Engineering for the demolition of 16 dilapidated houses

• Extending the a non-penalty discount period for paying city taxes to May 30

• Appointing Tamela Walker, Jaimie Gateway, Cynthia Brown, William Spell and Margery Taylor the planning commission

• Appointing David Walters to the Duquesne Business Advisory Corp.

• Appointing Maureen Strahl as acting city treasurer


Nichole Faina is a freelance journalist in Pittsburgh. She can be reached at n.faina.writer@gmail.com.

Originally published April 30, 2021.

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