Greensburg officials fired planning director at ‘informal’ meeting, plan official vote on Monday
Greensburg City Council’s decision to fire longtime Planning Director Barbara Ciampini happened when members “met informally” rather than during a public meeting, according to Mayor Robert Bell.
The mayor and all four council members attended an unrelated recreation advisory board meeting on Feb. 18. They stayed after to privately discuss Ciampini and made the unanimous decision to dismiss her, Bell said. Reasons for her termination have not been publicly disclosed.
Ciampini worked for the city for 35 years. Reached on Wednesday, she said she had no comment.
The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act requires government agencies to advertise and open to the public any meeting at which they will “deliberate and take official action on agency business,” according to the state Office of Open Records. Any decisions about government business are considered official action, and unscheduled, impromptu discussions are not exempt, according to the law.
Personnel matters, such as the decision to fire an employee, may be discussed in a private executive session. However, these sessions must come immediately before or after an advertised public meeting, and the reason for holding an executive session must be announced at the meeting.
Bell, who once said the city might possibly release more information about Ciampini’s firing, now says that’s not happening.
“It’s a personnel issue. We have no comment,” he said.
At its regular meeting on Monday, city council plans to vote to make Ciampini’s termination official. Bell said he expects the vote to be unanimous.
The search for her replacement has already begun, with the city accepting applications for a new planning director, according to Kelsye Milliron, city administrator. According to the job description, qualified candidates must have a thorough knowledge of planning and zoning principles, know city codes and have a college degree.
The city will accept applications through March 22.
The new director’s salary will be $53,000 a year. Ciampini made $73,500 a year at the time of her dismissal.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll find somebody in the initial search,” Milliron said.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, email@example.com or via Twitter .