Past Burgesses and Mayors

By 1913, when Ben Avon Heights became a borough, the powers and duties of the government were clear. Early borough governments included two or more burgesses and councilors, The chief burgess was the presiding officer at council meetings and also had limited judicial powers, The legislature, however, eventually settled on a weak mayor - council form of government for boroughs with a burgess and six councilors.

Over the years, further legislative changes in the Pennsylvania borough code prompted the Ben Avon Heights council to make changes in the borough's government. In 1953, the offices of treasurer and secretary were combined. In 1961, the legislature changed the title of burgess to that of mayor. These are the men who served in the office of Burgess and Mayor over the years.


1913-1928Robert W. Lindsay
11 Briar CliffRoad
Robert W. Lindsay was the first burgess of Ben Avon Heights and was also very active in his Phi Delta Theta fraternity organization serving in various positions.
1928-1933Kenneth Holmes
17 Briar CliffRoad
1933-1938 & 1945-1954Kenneth Holmes
21 Devon Lane
Mahlon Lewis was a community leader both inside and outside of Ben Avon Heights. In addition to serving as burgess, Mr. Lewis was a president of Shannopin Country Club. Mr. Lewis had additional ties to the founders of Ben Avon Heights: Walter Fraser was his father-in-law and the Lewises bought their home from John Thompson's widow. In the greater Pittsburgh community, Mahlon Lewis served on the boards of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society and Bellevue Suburban General Hospital, and was a trustee of the Pittsburgh Playhouse.
1938-1945George H. Matz
4 Perrysville Road


1954-1964Morton L. Boyd
6 Lynton Lane
20 Oxford Road
Morton Boyd served Ben Avon Heights in various positions during his life. He was a member of the Borough Council, burgess, and the first mayor of Ben Avon Heights. During his tenure as Burgess and later as mayor, he was instrumental in forging an agreement with Shannopin Country Club that made the swimming pool available to all residents of the Heights without having to be a member of the country club. Mr. Boyd is still a resident of Ben Avon Heights, buried with his wife and daughter in the Lutheran Cemetery behind Clovelly Road.
1964-1977Dick Simon
15 Penhurst Road
One ofDick Simon's greatest contributions to the Ben Avon Heights community was championing the addition of the tennis courts to the Ben Avon Heights community park. Many older residents were uncomfortable spending the money on the project, but Mr. Simon felt that tennis courts would help attract new, young, and active people to the Heights.
1977-1984Bob Kiser
2 Lynton Lane
The Kisers moved to Ben Avon Heights in 1965. Several years later, Mr. Kiser started a business working on people's houses, which allowed him to interact with many different families. "I always liked and admired Dick Simon who was the mayor, and when Don Ratchford and Nancy Hansen came over one night and asked me if I would succeed Dick, I was awed. He was a Vice President of US Steel and a wonderful man, and I knew he was made of better stuff than me. So I took the job and LOVED IT." In 1984 when the Kisers moved, he retired as mayor.
1984-2006John Koch
25 Oxford Road
John Koch was another very active community leader. He volunteered with several community organizations, including Meals on Wheels, and was on the Board of ACORD. In addition, Mr. Koch was a founding member of Avonworth Communities Together (ACT) which was a district-wide fundraising group. One of ACT's community projects was the Avonworth Lenzner Field House.
2006-PresentScott Dismukes
22 Clovelly Road
As our newest mayor, Mr. Dismukes continues the tradition of strong community involvement. He is a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Resource Council and served as a Chairman for the Avonworth Municipal Authority. Mr. Dismukes also received the EPA's bronze medal service award for his work under the Clean Water Act.