Sewickley Parking Authority adds 4 new members

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | 10:51 AM

Sewickley Council last month appointed new members to the borough's parking authority board.

Previous board members resigned in February.

Throughout March and April, Sewickley Council appointed Daniel Albano, Delvin Miller, David Saint Jacques and Richard Webb to the board.

“We didn't want to bring the parking situation back into the borough's hands, we wanted to keep it with the authority, because we thought that's where it belongs,” council President Jeff Neff said. Those who resigned in February are Tom DeFazio, Brian Jeffe, Cora DeLoia, Dennis Yancheski and Bill Gottschalk.

Council has filled four of five seats on the board, which exists to manage and enforce payment on Sewickley's metered parking spaces and lots.

“Everyone going at once leaves the new members a void. I would say it's akin to starting the authority over again,” Webb said.

Despite the prior vacancies on the board, Neff affirmed that the authority's day-to-day operations were not affected over the past couple months. The parking authority's employees continued to enforce payment, he said.

Tom DeFazio, former chairman of the parking authority, said the old board was focused on addressing Sewickley's lack of parking and had considered the construction of new surface lots. He gives the new board his full support.

“We just thought it would be better to have a fresh pair of eyes look at the whole parking situation,” DeFazio said.

At least for now, new board members will play catch-up as they review the history of the authority, contracts and initiatives.

“We have no historical knowledge, anyone who's on the authority now. We'll have a direction over time, but it's going to be informed by what we learn, not what we have,” Webb said.

Webb did say that the new board will scrutinize the borough's more than 40 pay-by-plate parking machines. According to Webb, these machines must communicate with back offices, as well as with hand-held devices used by parking ambassadors to enforce payment.

“There were a host of issues that were associated with rolling out that system. We're trying to get a grip on where things stand now with that,” Webb said.

The parking authority board hopes to also finalize an operating agreement with the borough once the board members get up to speed, according to Webb.

As of January 1, the two parties hadn't reached a consensus on how much the authority should pay to lease the borough's parking spaces, DeFazio said, but the authority was paying the borough $12,500 per month last year.

Webb anticipates that there will be an operating agreement in the future but cited the potential need for capital to address the pay-by-plate system.

“I anticipate that over the next few months we will have a clearer picture of what is required to address this issue,” Webb said.

Sam Bojarski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.