The Kacin Council: How it
All Ties Together
By Brien Palmer
Did you realize that
3875 Old William Penn Highway is an important center of Murrysville’s
government? Did you know that critical decisions related to Murrysville
are made right there?
You see, that
is the former address for the Murrysville Economic Community Development
Corporation (MECDC), right on the corner of Vincent Hall Dr. and Old
William Penn Highway. MECDC is a nonprofit organization which “stimulates
and enhances economic and community development through advocacy,
education, and partnerships to achieve business growth.”
Oddly enough, this is
the same address as Kacin Developers, one of the region’s biggest
residential and commercial developers. Owner Richard Kacin’s wife Nancy
is president of the Murrysville council. Kacin’s Chief Financial
Officer—Larry Nicolette—is vice president of the Murrysville council.
This is the location
where the famous "Overlay Ordinance"
was hashed out—the ordinance that opened Murrysville to the
huge mall development to be built near Berlin
Farms Road. This is the location of the day-time job of the
Executive Director of MECDC, who is also Chairman of the Municipality's
“The MECDC was
directly involved with the conceptual design and logistical development
of this [overlay] ordinance for
over 5 years”, according to a June 27, 2007 letter from the MECDC.
Administrator and Director of Community Development sat in on MECDC
meetings, where developer Richard Kacin presides as Chairman of the
Board. Larry Nicolette, Kacin’s employee, is the council’s liaison to
the Finance Committee.
Developers on Council
“development”, note that four of council’s seven seats are filled with
developers, or their friends and family: Kacin, Nicolette, Franke and
Synan. This is not likely to have happened by accident.
inter-connections noted above, and the statistical unlikelihood of
happening by happenstance, might this be a cause for concern? And is
this good for Murrysville?
Consider the last
person to join the council. When running for the position, the
"I feel it is the duty of those in local
government to advocate for property owners who are being surrounded by
commercial encroachment. Those who purchase their property with adjacent
residential zoning should not fear their neighborhoods turning
elected, he voted precisely the opposite of these words, in every
instance supporting “commercial development” and “neighborhoods
turning commercial”. What caused this sudden change between the stated
resident orientation and the subsequent development orientation?
Whatever the reason,
the development orientation has prevailed so far. The Kacin council
approved the general business overlay,
approved plans for the huge new mall, granted waivers to allow
development of the “Murrysville Commons”
property on Old William Penn Highway, and gave valuable business
property to the MECDC. It has supported every developer’s wish, even in
the face of clear public opposition.
CPRM Update: A
Tangled Web Continues...
One of the incumbents seeing
re-election for Murrysville Council
has requested donations for his campaign be sent to 3875 Old William
Penn Highway. Does this address ring a bell? It should. It's the same
address as Kacin Developers. In fact, this incumbent is the CFO of Kacin
Developers. If you feel this is a conflict of interest seeing that a
council-developer has the power to change zoning in order that his
company profits please support our candidates
that have no hidden agendas