After much wrangling, panel established in Mt. Lebanon to facilitate decision-making

It will be advising on sports

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The creation of a sports advisory board might save the Mt. Lebanon Commission time in the long run, but arriving at the panel's specifics took quite awhile before the board was approved Monday.

"I think this should go down in history as one of the longest amendments to the amendment to the amendment," Commissioner Kelly Fraasch joked as the ordinance establishing the board finally came to a vote and passed unanimously.

The purpose of the board is to address sports-related matters in the municipality and bring recommendations to the commissioners, ostensibly streamlining their decision-making.

"We had so much time dealing with field issues this year," said David Brumfield, commission president.

The composition of the sports advisory board was the topic of a lengthy discussion, with commissioners ultimately arriving at a count of 11 members from local sports associations plus two at-large members. Other participants will include nonvoting representatives from the municipality, its parks board and Mt. Lebanon School District, with Commissioner John Bendel as liaison.

Mr. Bendel made the final recommendation for the board's makeup. Ms. Fraasch had suggested the at-large members as an alternative to a board consisting solely of representatives from sports programs.

Commissioner Matt Kluck questioned the effectiveness of such a large group.

His idea was to structure the new board along the lines of the Mt. Lebanon Environmental Sustainability Board, which consists of three representatives: one from the municipality, one from the school district and one at-large member.

Mr. Kluck's proposal, though, received no support other than his own vote.

Some residents objected to the school district's involvement. David Huston questioned whether a representative from the district might live in another community.

"I think everyone needs to be a Mt. Lebanon resident," he said.

The commission also enacted an ordinance that amends the zoning code to provide for programmable electronic signs.

The zoning hearing board has fielded requests for variances to allow placement of the message boards along municipal streets, said Keith McGill, municipal planner.

"The ordinance is an attempt to get consistency for this type of signage," he said.

The ordinance permits signs "for a place of worship or public and semi-public uses."

"They're not intended to convey a commercial message," Mr. McGill said.

To help ensure safe driving, electronic signs cannot integrate animation or any effect that gives the appearance of movement. Each message on a sign must appear for at least 45 seconds, among other stipulations.

Resident Clifford Tuttle questioned the need for a limit on a sign's "dwell time," contending that a display of shorter messages in a shorter period might help organizations convey information more effectively.

To account for a $2.5 million bond issue approved in July for capital improvements, the commission enacted an ordinance amending the 2012 budget.

The money is for a series of energy-saving measures in accordance with state Act 39 of 2010, by which municipalities can use savings generated by such improvements to pay off related bonds.

neigh_south

Harry Funk, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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