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Baldwin civil service commission member ousted

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:02 p.m.

A longtime member of Baldwin's civil service commission was ousted from the committee that certifies test results for police candidates.

Baldwin Mayor David Depretis served as the tiebreaker in voting for civil service commission newcomer E. John Egger over Bob Collet, who served on the commission for 20 years.

“It's just how politics go,” said Collet. “Some you win, some you lose ... You can't get excited over things you can't control.”

Council President Michael Stelmasczyk, Vice President John Conley and Councilman James Behers voted for Egger. Council members Michael Ducker, Francis Scott and John “Butch” Ferris voted for Collet.

Councilman Kevin Fischer abstained from the vote because of the “frustration I had with the borough and council,” he said.

The term for the six-year post had expired in April and went unfilled for four months. Only Collet and Egger submitted resumes for the position, which was advertised in July, Fischer said.

“Maybe there's people out there in this borough that want to serve,” Fischer said. “I don't know that either of them have the qualifications.”

Fischer said candidates should have a background in human resources or business relations.

No interviews were conducted because both candidates “have been involved in Baldwin community service for years,” and council members knew their background, Stelmasczyk said.

“They were both equally qualified, and I just made a choice to put someone different on there,” Stelmasczyk said. “It was time to put someone different on there. There aren't positions for life.”

Egger, 62, served on Baldwin's zoning hearing board in the 1980s and is an alternate on the borough's planning commission. He also served in the 2000s on the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board.

“I like being involved in the community,” Egger said. “As long as you're willing to take the time to read the procedures and you're willing to do what's in the best interest of the community, you'll do fine.”

Baldwin's three-member civil service commission, which is appointed by borough council, once administered the written tests for police candidates and then witnessed the physical-agility tests, conducted interviews and recommended the top three candidates to borough council, Collet said.

That has changed over the years. Baldwin now participates in joint written and physical-agility tests for police candidates through the South Hills Area Council of Governments and an outside committee conducts the interviews. The civil service commission certifies the results, borough manager John Barrett said.

Police officers that are given a disciplinary action or suspension can appeal their punishment to the civil service commission. The last time that happened, Collet said, was in 2007.

The civil service commission has been in the process of updating its rules to meet new borough code passed several years ago, Barrett said.

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

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