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Alcosan expands communications division, promises transparency

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, 3:09 p.m.
Jeanne Clark, 65, of Shadyside was hired to head the communications division of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.
Martha Rial
Jeanne Clark, 65, of Shadyside was hired to head the communications division of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.

The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority has expanded its communications division and promises transparency as it prepares to spend more than $2 billion to reduce sewage overflows into the area's rivers.

Alcosan hired Jeanne Clark, a former communications director at PennFuture, to head the new division and will hire three people to report to her, said Arletta Scott Williams, the authority's executive director.

Clark, 65, of Shadyside began working on Monday.

“Part of this is to make sure we are dealing with the EPA consent decree in a transparent and collegial manner,” Clark said about federal regulations. “I'm very excited about it. I've worked my whole life to make the world a better place.”

Alcosan treats wastewater for Pittsburgh and 83 other county municipalities. The authority is under a federal court order to cut overflows.

Williams said changes were needed to help the authority communicate a “difficult message that is very timely.”

A social media coordinator, a manager of municipal relations and an administrative assistant still need to be hired, Williams said. Employees who oversee government relations and outreach programs to schools will be incorporated in the division.

County Treasurer John Weinstein, who chairs the authority's board, said in a statement that the new positions will make for a “more open and transparent” Alcosan.

Clark was hired after a three-month search that included three rounds of interviews with candidates. Clark, who chairs Pittsburgh's 7th Ward Democratic Committee and ran for City Council in 2013, left her position as the Allegheny County Democratic Committee's spokeswoman at the end of July.

She will make $80,000 a year, but the other salaries have not been set, Williams said.

Williams said Alcosan's former spokeswoman, Nancy Barylak, resigned during the reorganization.

Barylak, who worked for Alcosan for more than 20 years and made $77,000, said her position was eliminated and there was no role for her.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

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