What is the council, and how do council members serve?
The Council of Wilkinsburg is a body of nine elected officials. There are three officials from each of Wilkinsburg’s three wards.
The role of Council is to serve as civilian oversight of all activities of the Borough, including the management of Borough employees. Council is responsible for making policy, passing ordinances, voting appropriations, approving all personnel decisions, and establishing and maintaining the Borough’s budget. The Council also works with Pennsylvania and Allegheny County officials to find ways to stimulate economic development.
Council members serve four-year terms, with no limitation on the number of terms served. Elections occur every other year on odd-numbered years. Each election year, four or five seats on Council are open to voting. The rotation of seats ensures that there are always experienced representatives serving on Council.
Council members elect a President among themselves. The Council President is responsible for presiding over Council meetings, establishing committees, and appointing committee chairs. There is also a Vice-President, who presides over Council meetings in the absence of the President.
Council meets the First and Third Wednesdays of most months, with the exception of several months due to holidays. The first Wednesday of the month is the working session and the third Wednesday of the month is the legislative session. Council has only one meeting in August to allow for summer vacation schedules.
Council Members serve on various committees to provide focused effort on areas of interest.
Finance, Budget, and Capital Planning
2nd Monday at 6pm
Renee Haynes-Johnson (chair), Pamela Macklin, Linda Atkins
Infrastructure and Blight
1st Monday at 6pm
Nicole Santella (chair), William Smith, Natisha Washington
Reporting in Inf/Blight or Planning
Mike McMullen (chair)
2nd Thursday at 2pm
Moses Workman (chair), Pamela Macklin, Linda Atkins
2nd Thursday at 9am
Sabrina Gibson (chair), William Smith
Special Events, Music, Arts, and Seniors
2nd Thursday at 6pm
Linda Atkins (chair), Natisha Washington
Joint Tax Committee
4th Monday at 5:30pm
Sabrina Gibson, William Smith
Council Member Profiles
William Smith, III
William Smith, III was elected as Council President at the January 2, 2024 Council organization meeting. He was elected to his first term representing Ward 1 in November 2021. He is committed to focusing on new economic development in the Borough and improvements to the business district. His believes that new development can occur while preserving the Borough’s history and small-town atmosphere.
William is a retired carpenter from the University of Pittsburgh, with over forty years of experience in the construction industry. He is chair of the Infrastructure and Blight Committee.
William can be reached at email@example.com.
Renee Haynes-Johnson was elected Council Vice President at the January 2, 2024 Council organization meeting. She was sworn in to her first term representing Ward 1 on January 2, 2024. She is a resident of Wilkinsburg for over 37 years; She retired after 29 1/2 years with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services. Renee is a veteran of the U,S. Army and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda A. Atkins (President Pro-Tempore)
Linda Atkins was sworn into office on January 17th, 2018. She was relected to represent Ward 1 in November 2023. She is a longtime resident of Wilkinsburg and a graduate of Wilkinsburg High School. Ms Atkins holds a BSN and CCM. She became more engaged in her community by forming and becoming Captain of Hilltop Block Watch in 2013. As Captain the block watch has written for several grants, hosted community block parties, Holiday parties, has done multiple clean up days, developed community partners, a FB page, and a community garden among other family-oriented activities. Ms Atkins listens to and seeks to solve problems as they arise. She recently held a successful fundraiser in Wilkinsburg for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Ms Atkins will serve on Capital Planning and Blight, the Senior Services Committee, and Constituent Services and Special Events.
Pamela Macklin, (2nd ward)
Pamela Macklin was elected to Wilkinsburg Council in 1997, 2001, 2009, 2013 and most recently in 2021. During her first term Ms Macklin served as Vice President of Council and Chair of the Finance Committee; her second term Ms Macklin served as President of Council and Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee. For the past 4 years Ms Macklin has served on the Wilkinsburg Planning Commission, formerly as President. She also is a Board Member and chair of the Economic Restructuring Committee of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation. Ms Macklin is the president of the Wilkinsburg Democratic Committee and was founder of the Princeton Park Block Club. Ms. Macklin was Chair of the Capital Planning Committee, served on the Finance Committee and was re-appointed to the Planning Commission in 2010. Pamela Macklin can be reached at 412-780-7730 or email@example.com.
Moses Workman was sworn into office in January 2024. Moses has a rich professional background, including roles at Google, various Pittsburgh-based banks, and is a former Wilkinsburg Borough employee. A graduate of the Bradford School of Business with a degree in Computer Programming, Moses is a lifelong resident of Wilkinsburg, currently the Director of Operations at the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, a member of the Wilkinsburg Rotary Club, and serves as a board member for the Wilkinsburg Sun.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sabrina Gibson was elected to her first term representing Ward 2 in November 2021. She hopes to bring a new perspective to Council to help address Wilkinsburg’s shrinking population, high taxes, and blight problems. She also plans to work on bringing new brick and mortar stores to our downtown and create new programs for the youth in our community that will give them community pride.
Sabrina is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has lived in Wilkinsburg since 2004. She spent over thirty years working with at-risk youth at Pittsburgh Public Schools, a Youth Forestry program, Shurman Center, and, most recently, as a Juvenile Parole Officer with Allegheny County. She enjoys giving back to the community and serves as a poll worker, assisting voters at Johnston School.
Sabrina serves on the Public Safety Committee and the Joint Tax Committee.
Mike was sworn into office in January of 2022. He serves on the Parks and Recreation committee and as the Chair of the Economic Development Committee. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Nicole was sworn into office in January of 2022. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natisha was sworn into office on January 2, 2024. She is a member of the Infrastruction and Blight committee and the Special Events, Music, Arts, and Senior commitee.
She is currenlty communications manager at the Breathe Project, where she uses her organizing experience and media skills to educate residents on air quality and petrochemical issues alongside 60+ organizations. Formerly she worked as an Environmental Justice Organizer for 412 Justice advocating with community members to improve the quality of their environment and as the Green Initiative coordinator at Operation Better Block. She has also worked with the Junior Green Corp youth program on issues such as urban farming, vacant lot restoration, and community engagement work within Homewood.
In addition to her organizing work, she also owns a consulting business, Washington Green Solutions, and co-owns a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) consulting, recently named Just by Nature. Her ultimate goal is to ensure that disinvested communities are provided with the resources and investment needed to create equitable, safe, and healthy communities.
She can be reached at email@example.com.