Content about George Doscher


On Monday, Jan. 4, The Citizen staff attended five different municipal meetings. At the first four, the procedure was pretty much the same. The meetings began at the advertised time with the swearing-in of newly-elected officials, followed by the election of a president and vice president. They then moved quickly through such first-of-the-year business as naming committees, appointing a solicitor, and setting meeting dates for the coming year. The meetings ended with everyone sharing refreshments and good will.


Bellevue officials will take a long, hard look at problems with the behavior of juveniles in Bayne Park that could be affecting not only the public’s perception of the facility, but the patronage of the borough’s library as well.

Council member Lynn Tennant-Heffley cited examples of behavior problems at the park, including offensive language, underage drinking, littering, fights and drug use. The circulation at Bayne Library is down, she said at Tuesday’s pre-council meeting, as is attendance at some library programs.


It was time for the tables to turn at Bellevue Council’s meeting Tuesday evening, as council member Jane Braunlich decided to answer criticisms and correct statements by other elected officials.

Her response had an unexpected effect, as former public works supervisor Tony Barbarino challenged Braunlich’s husband to “step outside” during the meeting.

Braunlich’s statements were prompted by recent criticism from Mayor George Doscher that spanned issues going back to council’s failure to give his son a summer job last year.


Bellevue Council will vote next Tuesday on whether to amend the ordinance that requires noncontract employees to contribute 7 percent of the cost of their health insurance.

The contribution rate was decreased from 10 percent to 7 percent this year after the borough obtained less expensive insurance that eliminated the need for employees to pay deductibles.


Bellevue’s former public works supervisor, who resigned effective Tuesday, was honored at the council meeting that night with a proclamation presented by Mayor George Doscher.

The proclamation credited Tony Barbarino with 16 years of “outstanding efforts” with the borough’s DPW.

Council members echoed the mayor’s sentiments and wished Barbarino luck in his new job.


Bellevue Council is expected to vote next week on a $15,000 expenditure of capital improvement funds to install and implement a biometric scan timeclock system.

The system would be set up for every department and provide electronic data that would go directly to the borough’s financial clerk to simplify payroll, currently tracked on paper.


The Bellevue Council meeting came to a screeching -- literally -- halt not long after it started Tuesday evening, with a recess called as a final effort to stop yet another tirade by the borough’s mayor.

The incident started calmly enough when Mayor George Doscher asked why he had not been informed in advance of an executive session held by council last Monday to discuss a personnel matter.

Executive sessions are meetings from which the public is excluded, held to discuss only a handful of subjects as defined by state law, among them litigation and personnel matters.


For the second time in as many weeks, Bellevue Council has overridden the mayor’s veto of an ordinance.

Mayor George Doscher first vetoed the borough’s 2013 salary ordinance because he objected to non-contract employees contributing 2 percent more to the cost of their health insurance than the 5 percent being paid by union employees. Council voted unanimously to override that veto during the regular council meeting two weeks ago.


Bellevue Council once again will have to decide whether to override an ordinance vetoed by the borough’s mayor, this one impacting the entire budget for 2013.

Mayor George Doscher vetoed the 2013 salary ordinance because he disagreed with noncontract employees contributing 7 percent of the cost of their health insurance cost while the borough’s union employees contributed 5 percent. Council unanimously voted to override the veto at last week’s regular council meeting.


Editor's Note: Since press time, Mayor George Doscher has officially vetoed the budget ordinance adopted by council Tuesday night.


Bellevue Council voted unanimously Tuesday to override the mayor's veto of the 2013 salary ordinance, although it is unclear whether the changes wanted by the mayor will be enacted in an amendment to that ordinance later this year.

Mayor George Doscher had vetoed the ordinance adopted Dec. 27, stating that he objected to administrative employees being required to contribute 7 percent of the cost of their health insurance while union employees contribute only 5 percent.


Bellevue borough employees will not be getting pay raises or decreases in their health insurance contributions, at least not quite yet. The ordinance setting wages and benefits for the few years, adopted by council in December, has been vetoed by Mayor George Doscher.

Doscher informed council that he was vetoing the ordinance because it calls for non-contract employees -- primarily those in administrative positions -- to contribute 7 percent of the cost of their health insurance.


A proposal to officially increase the free parking time at Bellevue parking meters may be delayed while more information is obtained.

Council was to vote next week on a motion to amend the borough’s parking fee ordinance to allow free parking at all meters in the borough after 6 p.m. daily, and at all metered spaces in parking lots on weekends.

Council member Jane Braunlich said that the borough already allows free parking after 6 p.m. and on Sundays because there is no enforcement at those times.


Bellevue officials will keep the public works department painting yellow lines at the entrances to driveways, even though the "no parking" rule suggested by the lines cannot be legally enforced.

Public works committee chair Jane Braunlich reported at Tuesday's pre-council meeting that both the police and DPW had recommended that the painting be stopped because the law requires a sign be posted if police are to write tickets for parking along a yellow line. Some residents have been repainting the lines themselves, Braunlich said, and police want that practice to stop as well.


Hundreds of people from throughout the greater Pittsburgh area visited Bellevue last week for the “grill-abration” protest of a new borough ordinance that, in part, requires people to place their grills at least five feet from a combustible surface.

The ordinance debate this summer resulted in the formation of the “Liberty in Bellevue” group that opposed the ordinance, advocates alcohol sales in the borough, and promises a variety of community and political efforts in the future.


When Bellevue skate plaza opens in Bayne Park -- possibly as soon as next month -- the rules will require helmets and pads to be used only by children ages 12 and younger.

The borough council was divided on whether the helmet rule should apply to all minors, or coincide with the state’s rule for bicycle helmets, which applies to the 12 and under group only.


Bellevue Council voted to override the mayor’s veto of a controversial open burning ordinance when officials met Tuesday evening.


Just two days after Mayor George Doscher vetoed an ordinance that would regulate the placement of grills in the borough, a fire caused by a malfunctioning propane grill threatened the childhood home of one of the ordinance’s opponents.


Government officials usually are criticized for giving jobs to their relatives, but it was the lack of nepotism involved in summer hiring that resulted in an explosion at Bellevue' s pre-council meeting on Tuesday.

Before storming out of the meeting in a rage because his son was not selected to be a public works laborer this summer, Mayor George Doscher disparaged members of council, told one to shut up, and refused to cede the floor and stop yelling when council president Linda Woshner called him out of order.


Barely 24 hours after Bellevue Council appointed a new third ward representative, Emsworth Council accepted the resignation of one of their own.

Lynn Tennant Heffley was chosen in a unanimous vote by Bellevue Council Tuesday to fill the third ward council seat left vacant when Mark Panichella resigned after two years on council.

A lifelong resident of Bellevue who lives on North Jackson Avenue, Heffley is a teacher at Bellevue Elementary School.


The seats may have changed but the song remained the same as Tuesday's Bellevue Council meeting became particularly hostile.

In criticism led by Mayor George Doscher and council member Kathy Coder, the council majority was accused of recommending a "liar" for a job, making the borough look bad because of a recommendation for the joint planning commission, and violating the borough's administrative code by not having all of council involved in evaluating prospective engineers.


Although there are new faces in the Bellevue council chambers, Tuesday night’s debate over whether to hire a pool management company was familiar. Proponents argued that the higher cost of a management company is justified by a safer and better-run pool at Memorial Park, while other council members said the borough cannot afford the price tag.


Bellevue Council voted unanimously to override Mayor George Doscher’s veto of the salary ordinance adopted by council in December.

Doscher said that he disagreed with a provision of the ordinance that required non-contract employees to contribute 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance. A recent contract reached with the firefighters union set their contribution rate at only 5 percent. Members of the police and public works unions currently contribute nothing.


For the second time in as many weeks, an attempt to oust Bellevue’s solicitor has failed.

A week after a motion to seek proposals from attorneys failed in a tie vote at the borough council’s reorganization meeting, a second motion made at the first regular council meeting on Tuesday met the same end.