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Valley News Dispatch

Apollo officials keeping services afloat, look to fill key positions

Mary Ann Thomas
| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
Apollo Borough
Mary Ann Thomas | Tribune-Review
Apollo Borough

The lights are out on the Apollo Bridge, and the borough isn’t sure how to turn them back on.

The lighting outage is just one of many tasks at the Apollo Borough office that need to be handled in the absence of a borough manager.

Council Vice President Diane Bradshaw has volunteered to help with some administrative duties, helping out the part-time assistant borough manager.

Starting the new year also without a solicitor or an official auditor, Apollo government is making it but “limping along,” according to council President John Kautz.

Apollo Council capped a tumultuous year by agreeing to a new budget with a smaller property tax increase and restoring the position of the borough manager/secretary as a part-time position.

Earlier, in a close vote, council eliminated the full-time job for budgetary reasons. Shortly thereafter, the borough’s auditor and solicitor resigned, creating a temporary void of professionals to handle borough business.

A newly formed personnel committee is searching for a part-time borough manager/secretary, a part-time meter enforcer and a new solicitor. There is a new auditor, Ed Opst, whose appointment still needs to be formally voted on.

That committee will present its candidates for each of the vacant positions during council’s next meeting Jan. 24, according to Ashley Stiffy, a councilwoman who is a member of the personnel committee.

They have already been interviewing prospective borough managers from about a half-dozen candidates and will soon meet with attorneys interested in the solicitor’s position, she said.

But in the meantime, borough officials have rolled up their sleeves and sought help to get through until the borough is properly staffed.

“With outside help, we’re getting payroll and other financial duties taken care of,” Kautz said.

Bradshaw has been helping in the absence of the secretary/manager, according to Kautz, who also visits the borough building to deal with issues as they come up.

“Diane has done yeoman’s work,” he said. “It’s beyond the call of duty.”

Bradshaw said, “The way I thought about it is it has to be done. We have to make sure our borough workers are getting paid.”

A retired nurse, Bradshaw has been helping to answer questions outside of the work of the part-time administrative assistant.

Bradshaw said that she was able to help catch up on borough work since last month when the full-time manager’s job expired.

If council agrees on the new candidates for the open positions later this month, Stiffy said, “I feel we are turning a corner and we will bring in new faces and new ideas.”

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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