Township takes legal action, claims newspaper strike is holding up municipal business

An Allegheny County township is taking legal action, claiming a long-standing state code, coupled with an ongoing newspaper strike, is preventing municipal leaders from handling important matters.

“We can’t really do any township business because we can’t advertise in the local newspaper, because we don’t have a local newspaper right now,” said Denise Fitzgerald, Scott Township Manager.

In accordance with the First Class Township Code, municipalities are required to advertise certain actions within a print publication that’s circulated to residents.

While a number of local municipalities have their own distributed publications, Scott Township only has The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Fitzgerald said.

And, as Channel 11 has reported, the newspaper’s workers have been on strike for a month.

The inability to advertise within the paper has already impacted the town’s business. A demolition that had been scheduled for last month had to be paused, Fitzgerald said. Public hearings and job postings can’t be advertised either.

Of significant concern, is the township’s upcoming budget approval, which includes setting mileage rates and wages for township employees.

“We don’t have a means right now to get our budget advertised.”

The predicament prompted the township to take legal action. Petitions have been filed in both the Commonwealth Court and the state’s Supreme Court, requesting to be relieved from the advertising requirement.

Fitzgerald said the municipality would like the option to advertise business online, and called the current code “behind the times.”

The filings include Governor Tom Wolf, House Speaker Bryan Cutler and Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman as respondents.

Channel 11 reached out to representatives from each office for comment about the legal filing and the code itself.

At the time this article was published, only a spokesman for Senator Corman had responded, stating “no comment” at this time, due to the pending litigation.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW

TRENDING NOW:

Nearly 40 students, staff become ill at Pennsylvania school 2-year-old dies after drowning in pond in Bethel Park 1 person injured in shooting outside of Beaver County Walmart VIDEO: Crews called to early morning fire in Tarentum DOWNLOAD the Channel 11 News app for breaking news alerts