Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Peters to Fill Seat of Longtime Official Robert Atkison Died Unexpectedly

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Peters to Fill Seat of Longtime Official Robert Atkison Died Unexpectedly

Article excerpt

Peters council members have begun the sad process of replacing a longtime councilman who died unexpectedly this month.

Calling the death of Robert Atkison an "unfortunate loss" for the township, council members on Monday unanimously declared his at- large seat to be vacant. The declaration is called for in the township's home rule charter, which also requires council to fill the vacancy within a month. Mr. Atkison, 81, died of a heart attack July 7 at his Sherwood Drive home.

Council is seeking residents who are willing to take over Mr. Atkison's responsibilities until at least January -- and possibly longer.

Solicitor William Johnson said he's unsure if the appointed council member would serve until the end of the year or would fill the remainder of Mr. Atkison's term, which expires at the end of 2015.

Applications will be accepted at the township offices on East McMurray Road until Monday. Council is expected to name the replacement in mid-August.

Council also wrestled with finding a solution to an increasingly dangerous speeding situation on Hays Road, where residents have petitioned the township to consider traffic calming measures.

Traffic on the residential street -- which connects East McMurray Road to Route 19 --has been much worse in recent weeks with the closing of the Valleybrook intersection on Route 19 for repairs.

"It's pretty treacherous," said council President Frank Arcuri. "Is there anything we can do?"

Manager Michael Silvestri said the township has put in place signs warning motorists to slow down, along with a device that uses radar to calculate speed so that drivers can see how fast they are traveling.

With traffic double the normal level, it wouldn't be a good time to begin a traffic study, Mr. Silvestri said, though other solutions may alleviate problems.

Mr. Arcuri suggested the use of temporary, movable speed humps to slow down motorists.

"These people need some sort of relief," he said.

Mr. Silvestri said he will research the cost of the speed humps, which could also be used elsewhere in the township. …

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