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Leetsdale leaders now say borough manager job needed

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

With the secretary/treasurer considering retirement at the end of next year, Leetsdale leaders say now is the time to add a borough manager.

In a job posting on the borough's website, Leetsdale officials have set a Friday deadline for applicants interested in the borough-manager job that the same council eliminated more than a year ago.

After serving as council president for the past one and a half years, Joe McGurk said, he has seen the amount of work pile up for borough secretary/treasurer Elizabeth Petalino. McGurk works with her to solve the borough's day-to-day needs but said as Petalino looks toward retirement, borough officials need to find a replacement.

“I was elected council president. I wasn't elected borough manager,” McGurk said.

McGurk and four other council members ran on a campaign pledge in 2011 to eliminate the manager and junior clerk positions and reinstate Petalino as secretary/treasurer.

In January 2012, then-manager Paul Scimio was ousted from his position after accusations that some officials improperly used borough-issued credit cards.

After a state Ethics Commission investigation, Scimio last year was ordered to pay $1,078 to Leetsdale after the commission determined he violated the state Ethics Act by using a borough-issued credit card for personal expenses. The commission found that Scimio did not use his authority as a councilman to secure his job in 2010 as borough manager.

Borough officials have requested the help of the Allegheny County Department of Community and Economic Development to seek borough manager candidates, council member Melanie Dunn said.

Applications are being directed to a member of the county's community and economic development staff, she said.

“He will be preparing a blind matrix to restrict us from having any idea who the applicants are,” Dunn said.

Ads ran in two regional newspapers and directed interested applicants to the borough website.

McGurk called the process of using a county Department of Community and Economic Development staffer fair for candidates and borough leaders.

“He's not going to play favorites,” McGurk said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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