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Valley News Dispatch

Apollo faces loss of solicitor, auditor on top of budget crisis

Mary Ann Thomas
| Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, 6:51 p.m.

Apollo’s solicitor and auditor have resigned on the heels of council’s decision to eliminate the borough manager’s position and a troublesome budget with a hefty proposed tax hike.

Last week, council voted 3-2 to eliminate the borough manager position and released a preliminary budget that calls for a nearly 50 percent hike in property taxes.

The borough’s auditor, Joe Estermyer, resigned Friday due to an “increased workload and other professional circumstances.”

Tim Miller resigned Nov. 26. In an interview with the Tribune-Review, Miller, who has been solicitor for the borough for four years, acknowledged that there were a lot of changes going on in Apollo.

“A fresh voice and a fresh set of eyes will best serve the borough at this point,” he said.

John Kautz, council president, said it would be pure speculation to suggest the proposed tax hike and loss of the borough manager influenced Miller’s and Estermyer’s decisions to resign.

However, the two resignations are a “serious loss,” Kautz said.

Apollo Mayor Cindee Virostek said, “I’m devastated. They were very important professional relationships for the stability of Apollo.”

Kautz said council will have to address the loss of all three professionals.

In fact, Kautz and Virostek say that, without a borough manager, it will be difficult to hire a new solicitor and auditor.

Miller said he would stay until the end of the year. Estermyer, in his letter of resignation, said he would work with the borough and its new auditor for a smooth transition for the 2018 audit.

Council will discuss hiring a new auditor and solicitor at its meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday. Also expected at that meeting is a vote on the preliminary budget.

A final budget vote is planned for council’s Dec. 13 meeting.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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