Content about Linda Woshner


New Bellevue director of administrative services Ron Borczyk, pictured above at center with council president Linda Woshner and vice president Jim Viscusi, is quickly settling in to his new job with the borough. Borczyk, who comes to Bellevue after working as the borough manager in Springdale, has a background in accounting and human resources in the private sector, as well as municipal government experience.


You know that saying, "When the only thing you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."? I love that saying, because it reminds me not to get lost in any particular perception of what is going on around me.

I enjoyed law school and the practice of law because it was absolutely critical that you be able to see all sides of a case. You had to know not only your position, but everyone else's as well, if only to illuminate the weaknesses in your own case.


Sometimes things happen in the course of gathering news that defy our best efforts to shape them into a news story.


Bellevue will not be entering into a contract to outsource its bookkeeping work, at least not right now.

A representative of Bookminders spoke at the pre-council meeting two weeks ago, estimating that it would cost the borough about $25,000 a year to hire the company to take over data entry work being done by the borough's financial clerk. Finance committee chair Kathy Coder said this would free up the clerk for more important work.

At that time, neither the clerk nor director of administrative services Ron Borczyk had reviewed the company's written proposal.


A challenging subject has become even more confusing as Bellevue Council agreed last week to reduce the number of years of service for non-uniformed employees to receive pension benefits -- something council may already have done three years ago.


Incumbent first ward Bellevue Council member Linda Woshner won the Democratic nomination for her seat during Tuesday’s primary election.

Woshner defeated challenger Susan Schaffer 139-106, and will go on to face Republican Aaryn Hogue in the November election.


In the only contested primary election race in the North Boroughs for local government, incumbent first ward Bellevue Council member Linda Woshner is being challenged for the Democratic nomination by Susan Schafer.

Schafer ran unsuccessfully for council twice before, and has only just returned to the Democratic voter registration rolls after a stint as a Republican.


Bellevue Mayor Paul Cusick broke a tie vote among Bellevue Council members Tuesday night to reject a proposal to hire an independent actuary to review the borough’s pension plans.

Although council voted in December to hire a new actuary, according to council member Linda Woshner, Tuesday’s vote on the matter came to a 4-4 tie, with Woshner, Jim Scisciani, Vence Menosky and Lynn Tennant Heffley in favor, and opposition from Kathy Coder, Matt Senvisky, Mark Helbling and Henry Lenard.


With seasonal hirings already underway, Bellevue Council is telling potential employees they need not apply if they are delinquent in paying their borough taxes.

A motion to exclude delinquent taxpayers from the hiring pool was not scheduled for the agenda of the pre-council meeting on Tuesday, but was brought to the floor by council member Henry Lenard.


Bellevue will focus on cleaning up Lincoln Avenue this spring and summer, according to council public works committee chair Linda Woshner.

Council has approved a motion by Woshner to purchase a new "billy goat," a type of sidewalk vacuum cleaner, at a cost not to exceed $2,500. The machine will be used by the public works department to pick up litter along the main street business district.

She and public works supervisor Joe Olczak said that some of the borough's seasonal help may be hired early this year, and assigned to the borough's main street business district.


Bellevue will re-evaluate a proposed increase in the rental property inspection fee after questions posed by one council member remained unanswered, and another introduced questions of ethics.

Council was presented with a proposed schedule covering numerous fees charged by the borough. At the pre-0council meeting two weeks ago, council member Linda Woshner challenged a proposed increase from $35 to $45 per rental unit in the rental property inspection fee.


Bellevue Borough will be advertising for bids for a limited spring street paving project, while officials consider putting off another major project in hopes of getting some help paying for the work.

Director of administrative services Ron Borczyk told officials at Tuesday’s pre-council meeting that almost all of the available capital improvement funds will be eaten up by the repaving of two of the three blocks of South Bryant Avenue.


Bellevue Council will consider a proposal that would ban smoking in all of the borough’s parks.

Parks committee chair Lynn Tennant-Heffley said the idea had been proposed by the Friends of Bayne Library group as a way of keeping children from being exposed to second-hand smoke. Heffley, however, along with council member Linda Woshner, saw the proposed ban as being unenforceable. Heffley said that officials were constantly being told that police were available to address other problems at the park only on a limited basis. “We can’t control [marijuana] smoking at the park,” she said.


Miscommunication and misunderstanding, along with a splash of politics, led to a tidal wave of problems as Bellevue Council attempted to prepare Tuesday for the opening of the Memorial Park swimming pool.

An effort to hire personnel revealed several procedural problems that may have been overlooked during the transition to a new council at the beginning of the year.

Parks committee chair Lynn Tennant Heffley announced that the pool manager this year would be subject to a new job description, which already had been explained to manager Maureen Grant, Heffley said.


In an effort to spruce up Bayne Library before its anniversary celebration in May, Bellevue Council voted at its pre-council meeting to authorize the expenditure of up to $2,500 to hire a professional to do the work.

The last minute motion was brought up at the meeting without council members having seen the two estimates obtained, which prompted council member Linda Woshner to vote against the measure. Council member Frank Camello was absent.


Bellevue Borough will award a streetscape design contract without looking at proposals from other firms after extended discussion and a vote at Tuesday’s pre-council meeting.

The Lincoln Avenue streetscape project is entering its second phase, at least on paper. A design contract for the first phase was awarded in December of 2011, with bid documents expected to be available within nine months. The project, however, was not put out to bid until the spring of 2013. Construction is expected this year.


With not a single shovel having yet hit the ground for construction of the first phase of Bellevue’s Lincoln Avenue streetscape, the borough council put the brakes on an attempt to push through a contract for the second phase until a number of questions could be answered.


Could someone in Bellevue be attempting to undermine the borough's relationship with Allegheny County and create obstacles to Bellevue obtaining future grants?

Council president Linda Woshner said that she had received an unsolicited phone call from a member of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development staff, who reported that the department had received communications from an unknown person(s). Woshner said that derogatory comments about Bellevue being difficult to work with had been made and communicated to the county.


Bellevue will be the next local municipality to take a stab at a shade tree ordinance in hopes of getting free trees in the future.

The TreeVitalize program in Allegheny County helps municipalities protect and restore shade trees through expert assistance and providing trees at no cost. To be eligible for a grant, however, municipalities must demonstrate a commitment to the program’s goals by adopting a related ordinance, appointing a shade tree commission and training local people to care for the trees.


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.


Leveling accusations against borough council members for creating a “hostile work environment,” Bellevue’s public works supervisor has submitted his resignation.

DPW supervisor Tony Barbarino submitted a letter of resignation to individual council members at committee meetings held Tuesday evening.

In the letter, Barbarino says that four members of council created a “harassing and hostile work environment” and questioned his integrity, prompting him to resign after 16 years with the department.


The much-debated streetscape design feature known as the “bump-out” is back in the plans for the first phase of Bellevue’s main street revitalization project. Advocates for the feature appealed to Bellevue Council once again at council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, and received permission to add one set of bump-outs to the construction plans.


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.


Bellevue Council will revisit the issue of how much administrative employees should contribute to the cost of their health insurance.

For the last two years, non-contract employees have contributed 10 percent of the cost of the insurance. This year, the rate was decreased to 7 percent. Recent agreements with the borough’s unions, with the police contract settled by arbitrators, set the contribution rate for union workers at 5 percent.