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Hyde Park Council to vote on borough manager post

| Saturday, April 6, 2013, 1:01 a.m.

Hyde Park's borough secretary could soon have the powers of a borough manager.

Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to create the office of borough manager.

Borough Secretary Tifanie Gagen is expected to be named borough manager, Solicitor Harry Rosensteel said.

Under the ordinance, the borough manager also would serve as borough secretary. The change would be effective May 1.

Council members did not respond to requests for comment on the proposed change.

According to Rosensteel, a borough manager would be able to make decisions that now require council to meet.

“They need someone to run the borough on a day-to-day basis,” Rosensteel said.

A representative of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs could not say how many of the state's 958 boroughs have managers.

According to the proposed ordinance, managing Hyde Park's day-to-day business is creating an “undue burden” on council members.

The borough has about 500 residents. In addition to the secretary, the borough has one other full-time employee, according to Rosensteel.

The council relies heavily on the borough secretary, and wants to give the secretary some authority to manage borough business.

A borough manager would be appointed for an indefinite term, and could be removed by council at any time. The manager's pay is not specified in the advertised ordinance that would create the position.

Some of the manager's abilities or duties would still require the involvement or approval of council.

The manager would be able to appoint and remove employees, but only with council consent. The manager would be able to make purchases up to $500, but only with advance notice to at least two council members, including one on the finance committee.

The manager would work with the finance committee chairman to prepare the annual budget.

They would prepare the agenda for council meetings and be able to take part in discussions, but not vote.

The mayor would be able to delegate any nonlegislative and nonjudicial powers to the borough manager.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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