Monroeville manager may be in jeopardy of losing job

| Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

A majority of Monroeville Council has notified Manager Tim Little that his job security is in danger, says Councilman Clarence Ramsey.

Ramsey and council members Bernhard Erb, Diane Allison and Lois Drumheller — four of the municipality's seven council members — discussed Little's status in an unadvertised meeting this week, Ramsey and Erb confirmed.

It's unclear whether Little attended the meeting Monday. Erb characterized the discussion as a "personnel issue" and declined further comment. Allison and Drumheller did not return calls.

Little was hired as manager in Monroeville in June, after leaving the same job in Baldwin Borough. He did not return calls Wednesday.

Council members previously expressed dissatisfaction with Little regarding their request for him to seek payments in lieu of taxes from the town's hospitals — Forbes Regional and UPMC East. The latter is under construction and slated to open this summer.

Little responded that he had spoken with someone at UPMC but had not received an answer.

UPMC has paid taxes to Monroeville, Gateway School District and Allegheny County for the past three years while building its new hospital, but those payments will end next year. Hospitals are tax-exempt. Forbes Regional does not make any payments in lieu of taxes.

Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko said he was informed of the Monday meeting moments before it took place and did not attend. The three council members who did not attend — all elected last year — said they were unaware that it was scheduled.

"I'm still trying to gather information about the whole situation," Councilman Nick Gresock said. The other members not present were Steve Duncan and Jim Johns.

Holding a private meeting without informing all council members at least 24 hours in advance violates the state's Sunshine Act, said Melissa Melewsky, media-law counsel with the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

Monroeville Solicitor Bruce Dice, however, said council members can go into executive session whenever they want as long as they're discussing relevant topics.

"No action was taken," Dice said. "If they intend to give him a raise or modify his contract or terminate him, that has to be done at a public hearing."

Erosenko said he is trying to schedule a meeting with all members of council early next week to discuss the issue.

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