New Castle News

Local News

June 29, 2013

Mayor rejects council call on insurance

NEW CASTLE — The city of New Castle is changing insurance brokers for liability coverage.

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo is making the change — from Carl DeAugustine with HRH Insurance to the Ron Dunn Insurance Agency of Pittsburgh and his local associate, Brad Olson. The city will continue to have the same insurance carrier, Traveler’s Insurance Co. The change will not affect the amount the city pays as a premium.

The administration has the authority to make the change although council adopted a resolution Thursday for the mayor and controller to execute an agreement with Ron Dunn Insurance Agency.

DeAugustine questioned the move, saying he has been the city’s broker for 25 years.

Mastrangelo read a statement at the meeting, thanking DeAugustine for his years “of great service to the city.” He said his decision to switch had more to do with Olson than wanting a change from DeAugustine.

Olson, he said, approached the city. Olson already is broker for Lawrence County, the New Castle Area School District and New Castle Public Library.

He said he expects Olson to provide consultation to the city on a regular basis.

Mastrangelo said he has “never hidden from the fact that I place a high priority on business relationships with city residents and businesses. This situation is no different.”

DeAugustine said that although he now lives in Neshannock Township, he was reared in New Castle.

Council members questioned why they had to vote on a resolution since it’s the mayor’s prerogative to select brokers.

Solicitor Jason Medure called it “a gray area,” adding, “We decided to err on the side of caution” since the mayor and controller have to sign the agreement.

DeAugustine told the mayor that he respected his decision.

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