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Employee firing irks Baldwin councilman

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

A Baldwin Borough councilman wasn't shy when it came to expressing his dismay with his colleagues' decision to support the borough manager's termination of an employee.

John “Butch” Ferris abruptly left last week's Baldwin Borough Council meeting after council members, in a 4-1 vote, approved a motion to ratify the borough manager's actions in October, including, but not limited to, all personnel terminations.

Council President David Depretis and Councilman John Conley were absent. Ferris was the lone dissenter.

“This is the most despicable council/group, (bar none) in the Borough of Baldwin's history since 1952,” Ferris said as he walked toward the rear door of the municipal auditorium where the council meeting was being held.

Borough solicitor Stanley Lederman declined to comment on the termination saying it was a personnel matter. Lederman would not say who was terminated, only noting that it was one employee who was let go in October. Borough Manager John Barrett also declined to comment.

Ferris confirmed that public works foreman Harold Barrowman was the employee who was terminated. Barrowman could not be reached for comment.

Ferris, this week, said he is not happy with the way municipal officials handled the situation.

“I don't condone what happened,” said Ferris, who also said he was upset with “how the decision was arrived at” by his colleagues.

Other councilmen said they didn't necessarily support the termination, but just voted “yes” to back the borough manager.

“My ‘yes' vote was just affirming that I support the borough manager in his action,” Councilman Ed Moeller said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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