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Valley News Dispatch

Arnold hires Plum man as new city clerk

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 9:54 p.m.

Arnold has a new city clerk.

Council on Tuesday hired Mario Bellavia, 54, of Plum at a salary of $40,000.

His benefits include health insurance, dental and vision, and the chance for two pay increases, each at $1,000, after a three-month and a sixth-month review.

All council members and Mayor Karen Peconi approved the hire.

“He's very energetic and very knowledgeable,“ Councilwoman Deborah Vernon said. “I truly believe that he'll be an asset.”

The hire comes about two months after city officials voted to eliminate the city administrator position and re-establish the position of city clerk. The city administrator post was established in 2014 after the state changed the Third Class City Code to allow it.

Peconi in April said the change will save the city about $10,000 in salary and return some power to council that was lost when an administrator's position was created.

The biggest difference is that an administrator has the authority to make personnel changes, but city clerks don't.

The city's current administrator, George Hayfield, is leaving Arnold for Johnstown, where he will be city manager. His last day is Friday.

Officials at the meeting thanked Hayfield for his four years of service. He said he will miss the city and thinks it's in a good state financially.

“When I first got here ... we were very close to Act 47, but we're stable now,“ Hayfield said. Act 47, which is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development, provides loan and grant funds to financially distressed local governments as well as technical assistance to formulate financial recovery plans.

Councilman Joseph Bia said three people applied for the city clerk position, and Bellavia was the best candidate.

He said Bellavia has worked with multimillion dollar budgets for large companies and is very successful.

“Every position over his entire career, he has progressed (in) rapidly,” he said.

Bellavia was not at the meeting. Attempts to reach him by phone Tuesday night were unsuccessful.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

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