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New Homestead council member wants more mentors, job training

Mary Nesby has taken her concern for the youth of Homestead to the people, and this past November, the people responded by electing her to the Borough Council for a four-year term. Nesby’s three sons were on hand to watch as she was sworn in Jan. 2 by Mayor Betty Esper.

Nesby said she is excited and can’t wait to get to work on her priorities—which center largely on the borough’s youth.

“I ran because, while I love our council, a lot of them are older and are a bit out of touch with what’s going on with our young people,” Nesby told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “I thought they needed someone who was more about the community than about politics. I’m not a politician—I’m a taxpaying mother, and soon-to-be grandmother. I think it’s important to focus on job training, education and counseling. So, it was time for me quit talking the talk and start walking the walk—but I’ll keep talking, too.”

Nesby is owner of Mary’s Little Lambs Daycare and a Notary Public. Currently she is working as an administrative assistant with Turtle Creek Valley Mhmr, which provides a variety of behavioral health services to residents of all ages.

She said the position, which she took while she finds a location in which she can expand the daycare to a group facility and hire staff, has been inspiring—especially considering her focus on youth, and the fact that her youngest son is on the autism spectrum.

“God has put me in the right place. It has opened my eyes,” Nesby said. “We have to go back and get some of these parents help, so they can help their children—a lot didn’t have the tools because they were going through things themselves. So, in some cases you have three generations of who weren’t equipped to be parents.”

In addition to working to increase mentors, education, and job-training opportunities throughout the borough, Nesby said a priority is making sure economic development reaches “up the hill” from 8th Avenue, which, despite the development at the Waterfront, is seeing new business openings after years of decline.

“The Voodoo Brewery has been there for a while, but one of the things they do is set aside a portion of their profits and donate it to the fire department,” she said. “I want to meet with the new businesses coming in to see if we can’t get them to do something similar. If everyone pitches in, we can put something in place to help these kids, and maybe make Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall more of a single Steel Valley community.”

But she is a newcomer, she said, so she will watch and learn and take small steps at first.

“I always have to put Christ first. I don’t graduate from the Local Government Academy until March—but I’m excited about that, too,” she said. “The courses are awesome. It’s a great resource.”

Homestead Council consists of nine members; seven voting members plus the solicitor and the borough engineer. The mayor only votes in the event of a tie. Public meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month.


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