As 2021 comes to a close, Etna has been celebrating the inspiring and remarkable career of Pete Ramage, who served on the Etna Borough Council for 52 years, 46 as Council President. Pete has stewarded the community through good times and bad. Notably, he worked to bring the municipality out of financial distress when it felt the pinch of a severe economic downturn brought about by the loss of the steel mill and resulting population loss. He was also at the helm when the Borough experienced a devastating environmental trauma: flooding after the remnants of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Under Pete's leadership, the Borough has since rebounded with its main street Butler Street now recognized as one of the state's Great Places.
Pete was a founding member of the Etna Economic Development Corporation, a group which supports the local business community, and has served as the group's President from 2010-2021. He also collaborated with our neighboring municipalities, Sharpsburg and Millvale, to create a joint zoning ordinance which allows for a more holistic vision for future community development.
Along with his wife and Etna Borough Manager, Mary Ellen Ramage, he brought the community to the forefront of green infrastructure and stormwater management to deal with the prevalent flooding brought about by our position in the watershed, aging combined sewer system, and climate change. The Borough has implemented award-winning streetscape projects, multiple rain gardens, and the Dougherty Nature Trail. It was under his leadership that Etna Borough became the world's first Certified EcoDistrict.
The retirement celebration was held at All Saints Activities Building and featured many local officials and friends who wished to honor Pete's career. Included in the speakers was Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald who noted,
"We have 130 municipalities, and if they were all as forward thinking as (Etna), things would be a lot better here in Allegheny County."
We couldn't agree more. This community owes Pete Ramage a debt of gratitude for the countless hours of work that he put in, selflessly and always with the best interest of the borough in mind, to bring us to where we are today. It takes an exceptional leader to lead from behind and empower residents to take charge and become leaders themselves so that a community can continue to grow and thrive into the future. We consider ourselves blessed that Pete was that leader for us. All that's left to say is thanks, Pete, and congratulations!
To see a video that was made for Pete's Celebration, click here.