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Penn Township picks Latrobe manager to replace Light

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Chris Foreman | Penn-Trafford Star
Latrobe city manager Alex Graziani started as Penn Township manager on May 1.

The former executive director of Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County will take over as Penn Township's new manager in June.

Township commissioners unanimously hired Latrobe City Manager Alex Graziani Wednesday night to succeed Bruce Light, who is retiring on May 23.

“I'll do everything to serve the citizens of the community,” Graziani told commissioners after the hiring. “I'll be accountable to them, as I am to you.”

Graziani, 43, of Greensburg was the first head of Smart Growth, which is a program of the Penn State Cooperative Extension. He led the organization for 10 years until joined Latrobe's government in September 2011.

During his tenure, Graziani oversaw the city's $3-million rehabilitation of a 280-space parking garage, worked with Westmoreland County Community College on the development of a new Latrobe center and helped to get a grant to support the hiring of a coordinator for community outreach and sustainability.

Graziani said the Penn Township opening appealed to him because of the professionalism the board has shown in working with Light, who has been the municipality's only manager since his hiring 19 years ago.

“You don't want to walk into a local government that doesn't have that level of consistency,” he said.

Penn Township will pay a Graziani $92,000 salary, which includes a $7,200 stipend to serve as the board secretary.

Commissioners have said they want their next manager to focus more on long-range planning and marketing the township.

Commissioner Paul Wersing said he respected Graziani from his days with Smart Growth.

“He was ahead of the curve on development, and he's a well-rounded individual,” Wersing said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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