Atkison gets his Way
Peters Township memorializes deceased councilman
Even after death, former Peters Township Councilman Robert Atkison got his Way.
To honor the memory of Atkison, council dedicated a short traffic way Aug. 26. The path leading from East McMurray Road in and out of the township complex of municipal building, police station, ambulance garage, tennis center and public library will now be known as Atkison Way.
Atkison died unexpectedly in early July, leaving a vacancy on the seven-member council.
Speaking before the brief ceremony to unveil the new sign, Council President Frank Arcuri noted he served with Atkison for about eight years. Atkison, a 50-year-resident of the township, served 22 of the past 24 years on council.
Arcuri said while he and Atkison often didn’t see eye-to-eye, he had great respect for his opinions. He also referred to a letter sent by the Atkison family and paraphrased that his wife and children always knew how much Atkison loved the township, but did not realize how much the township loved him.
In addition to serving on council, Atkison was instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the local ambulance service.
At the start of the council meeting held immediately after the dedication ceremony, Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, presented the family with a proclamation through the state senate outlining Atkison’s contributions to the community, including his decisions on expanding Arrowhead Trail.
As for Atkison’s often tenacious personality, Smith said, “He expressed his opinions to me very clearly.”
A few weeks after Atkison’s untimely passing, council declared his seat vacant with a majority voting to appoint former member Michael McCaig to fill the seat until an election in November.
McCaig was sworn in before a public hearing Aug. 19 and took his seat with the other members. However, McCaig did not attend the dedication or the regular council meeting Aug. 26.