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FTMSA officials nix trips in agency Jeep

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Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
Jim Brucker is manager of the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority.

Kepler: Need for new leadership ‘a no-brainer'

Policies aren't the only things Murrysville Councilman Jeff Kepler wants the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority board to re-evaluate.

In an interview with the Murrysville Star, Kepler said he doesn't think Jim Brucker is the right person to be running the authority.

Prior to questions about his authority vehicle use, Brucker came under fire for the authority dumping nearly 30 million gallons of untreated sewage into Turtle Creek without notifying his board last summer.

“I have not been impressed with Mr. Brucker's performance, and I question if the authority would be better run under different leadership,” Kepler said. “Does the value he brings outweigh these negatives?

“From what I've seen, it's a no-brainer.”

Brucker was out of the office at a conference and did not respond to email messages seeking comment.

By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 11:45 a.m.

Murrysville's sewage manager won't be taking long drives on the Outer Banks beaches in a government vehicle anymore.

Board members of the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority have restricted manager Jim Brucker's use of his authority-issued 2006 Jeep Commander to within state limits.

“We have changed the policy that the manager is no longer allowed to drive on vacation and is only allowed to use it within the state of Pennsylvania, not to go out of the state of Pennsylvania and certainly not to do what was reported before for driving to North Carolina,” said Jim Hamilton, a long-time authority board member. “We've changed that policy.”

Last month, a Murrysville Star investigation found that Brucker had taken the Jeep to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on vacation for at least two years.

Brucker, who was at the meeting, did not comment on the new policy.

Murrysville Councilman Jeff Kepler, has demanded the board investigate Brucker's personal use of the vehicle. Kepler — who serves as the Murrysville liaison to the authority board — said the new policy doesn't go far enough.

“They failed to address the issue,” Kepler said. “They addressed the embarrassment of driving to North Carolina but didn't address that personal use.”

Kepler said he thinks the authority and Brucker could be violating tax laws by not documenting Brucker's personal use of the vehicle.

“IRS regulations require that the person has to keep a log and provide company a log,” Kepler said. “If there is no such log, I'd like to know what the board is going to do to address that.”

Board chairman Mark Adamchik said the board doesn't have a procedure requiring Brucker to log his mileage. He said the board will continue to examine the need for additional policies governing Brucker's vehicle use.

At the July board meeting, Kepler asked the board to compile an analysis of the personal use of authority vehicles to examining the viability, frequency and cost-effectiveness of the program.

Board members said last week that they did not know Kepler wanted such an investigation. Kepler reiterated that he wants a full investigation into the program, not just a change in policy.

“I asked for an analysis of the program,” Kepler said. “I absolutely would like to know the frequency of use, the cost of use. If you didn't get it last time, I'm requesting that information.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2365,or

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