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Penn Township rewrites rules on manager

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Penn Township commissioners applauded work thus far on updating an ordinance governing the position of township manager.

“I think you all did a good job,” said Commissioner Paul Wersing.

Updates to the ordinance have been under way as the township is preparing to replace manager Bruce Light, who plans to retire in May.

Commissioners likely will vote on the ordinance at a November meeting, Light said, so the new rules are in place when advertising for a new manager.

Solicitor Leslie Mlakar said he compared the township's rules to that of other municipalities.

“I thought what we started with was superior,” Mlakar told the board on Wednesday.

The updated language maintains a certain level of power without giving the manager free rein, he said.

“We didn't make a heck of a lot of changes; we just needed ... to make it a lot more clear,” he said.

The current ordinance was used to hire Light, 62, in 1995.

Commissioners Charles Horvat and Larry Harrison expressed satisfaction with the updated version. Harrison said the proposed changes were well-written.

In other business, commissioners approved authorizing two paramedics with the Penn Township Ambulance Association to drive a mobile command post for township police, if an emergency situation arises.

Police Chief John Otto told commissioners that the department's mobile command center could be used in emergency situations, but if all township officers are dispatched to a scene, that leaves no one to drive the vehicle.

The two paramedics have additional training and are qualified to drive the vehicle that Otto said was purchased a few years ago. The paramedics would be covered under township insurance if an accident occurred, Mlakar said.

Commissioners also approved the hiring of a full-time administrative assistant, Stephanie Frye of Penn Township. Light said Frye will begin working Oct. 28 and train with the police department.

Frye's hourly wage will be $13.89 during a 75-day probation period, he said. After that, her hourly rate will rise to $14.92.

Sixty-eight people applied for the job opening, Light said.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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