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1 staffer added to union, 1 not in Latrobe

Latrobe's new parking enforcement officer/administrative assistant will be represented by a public works union covering other city workers, but not the community-service officer who had handled the parking enforcement duties until last week.

Latrobe City Council on Monday agreed to amend its contract with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees District 83 Local 29, to cover the parking enforcement officer/administrative assistant who is splitting time between parking enforcement and clerical duties, City Manager Alexander Graziani said. The contract expires Dec. 31, 2014.

The amendment that the city had negotiated with the union, which represents public works employees and clerical staff, was to cover both the parking enforcement officer and the community service officer. Before the agreement could be finalized, the city will have to discuss with the union the amendment made by council, city solicitor James Kelly said.

Once the city's parking garage on Weldon Street is reopened after repairs are completed this summer, the parking enforcement officer will spend more time on parking enforcement.

The community service officer works in the police department but is not covered by the Fraternal Order of Police contract because she is not a full-time police officer. That community service officer, Beth Kellerman, had handled the parking enforcement duties since a parking enforcement officer retired in December 2010.

But those parking enforcement duties were given to the new parking enforcement officer, Kay Nevin, a former clerical employee who had been furloughed in the summer of 2010, Graziani said. Nevin began handling the parking enforcement duties last week, Graziani said.

City officials did not explain why the community service officer's position was excluded from the union contract. Council members Richard Jim and Ken Baldonieri declined to comment on the issue, saying it was a matter that was discussed in the closed-door executive session prior to council voting on the amended contract.

In other business, council agreed to consider installing only eight metered parking spaces along the south side of Depot Street, between Ligonier and Jefferson streets, rather than 11 or more, as had been proposed by city administrators.

Graziani had suggested creating 11 parking spaces in the block, while Joseph Bush, public works director, said that one block is large enough for 15 metered spaces.

Police Chief James Bumar said he is "strongly against" the proposal to create metered parking spaces along that section of Depot Street.

"I think it will be a traffic nightmare," Bumar said.

Mayor Barbara Griffin said she favors parking for only five or six vehicles on that block.

Jim argued for larger parking spaces to make it easier and faster for vehicles to enter and exit the space.

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