Monroeville interim manager, chief could become full time
Monroeville residents who railed against two recent promotions of municipal employees now might have to pay for their college degrees.
Two ordinances drafted for an upcoming vote Tuesday would make interim manager Lynette McKinney the next manager, with the condition that she earns a bachelor's degree in business management or a similar field.
Another proposal would make interim police Chief Steve Pascarella the next chief, on the condition that he also earns a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field.
Taxpayers would pay for the college education of both officials, just as taxpayers have paid for the bachelor's degrees of the past two police chiefs — Doug Cole and George Polnar — Councilman Bernhard Erb said.
“I am seeking to be consistent with the practices of Monroeville,” Erb said.
Cole said on Wednesday that he obtained a bachelor's degree on his own prior to being hired as a police officer.
The Monroeville manager must have at least a bachelor's degree in public administration or a related field and three years of governmental administrative experience, according to the municipality's website, as of Monday.
McKinney said this week that she has an associate's degree but declined to comment further on the subject, which she said is a personnel matter.
McKinney has worked as an administrative assistant in Monroeville for more than 20 years.
Pascarella on Tuesday did not return a call seeking comment.
Some elected officials — including Mayor Greg Erosenko — say McKinney is not qualified to be an interim manager, let alone the manager.
Erosenko has the power under the Home Rule Charter to veto ordinances.
He said Tuesday in an email that he is not sure if he would veto McKinney's appointment but that he's ”checking in to that.”
If McKinney is hired as manager and then subsequently removed from the position by a future council, the ordinance would guarantee her a severance package equal to six months' salary.
The four council members who voted to appoint McKinney as interim manager are Erb, Diane Allison, Lois Drumheller and Clarence Ramsey.
Council member Jim Johns said he would do everything in his power to remove McKinney as municipal manager.
“She doesn't belong there,” Johns said. “I don't have anything against Lynette, but what (the majority) is doing is wrong.”
Ramsey said McKinney deserves the promotion.
“I think Lynette has more knowledge of the operation than most of the managers that were there,” Ramsey said.
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or firstname.lastname@example.org.