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The City of Duquesne will face many changes in the upcoming months --- including many new faces in the city administration.
The first city council meeting presided over by Mayor Nickole Nesby included new Councilwoman Fawn Taylor-McDaniel, new City Treasurer David Bires and recently promoted police Chief Tom Dunlevy.
Dunlevy, formerly a sergeant in the Duquesne police, also has served as a member of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency's regional task force.
Nesby said one of her primary goals in office as the new mayor of Duquesne is the safety of the community.
“I selected the best, most qualified police chief for the great City of Duquesne," Nesby said. "Officer Tom Denlevy has been on the force since 1999 and with the DEA for many years.”
Nesby says that public safety is one of the reasons that she decided to make a change in her career and run for office. “It’s important for us to come together to make a change in the community,” said Nesby, a lifelong resident of Duquesne.
Other priorities for Nesby are attracting jobs to the community, developing affordable housing and providing educational opportunities.
“I believe government should seek creative methods of attracting new businesses to the community,” Nesby said. “As the mayor, I want to make Duquesne a hub for emerging technologies such as clean and green, life sciences and software development. I deeply care about everything that affects the residents of Duquesne."
Also new to the administration this year is Cha Sayles, who will be serving as city manager, and Allan Chiesi, new code enforcement officer. In addition, council by 4-0 vote this month named Frank Cobb the new fire chief.
In other business, council voted 4-0 to re-examine a contract extension offered last month to Duquesne's clerical, police and public works personnel.
Council directed the city's solicitor to ask the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas for a decision on whether the previous council's action on Dec. 13 to extend the contracts by two years was binding.
Nesby said her administration and the new council want to renegotiate the contracts when they expire, not extend the existing agreements.
City council meetings, which are open to the public, are now being held at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer from North Huntingdon Twp. who covers Duquesne, White Oak and other topics for Tube City Almanac.
Originally published January 26, 2018.