Michael Gray will remain as Latrobe’s city manager
Michael Gray became Latrobe’s city manager on Monday, after holding down the position on an interim basis since March 25.
Council voted unanimously to keep Gray in the new role, setting aside plans to search for additional candidates from outside the city staff.
“We had talked about doing a search,” said Mayor Rosie Wolford, who has a vote on council and chairs its meetings. “Then we watched how Mike operated, and we decided we had the best candidate right here. He’s committed to the community.
“Our objective is always to try to promote from within.”
For the time being, Gray will continue to also hold down the role of Latrobe’s public works director he’s had since 2016, after joining the city public works force the previous year.
“I’m excited,” Gray said of receiving council’s stamp of approval in his new position. He pointed out that he’s been splitting time between the city’s municipal building and the public works department at the city’s waste transfer station.
He hopes an existing employee in the latter office can transition into taking over as director.
“We’re going to let Mike make that recommendation to council and see where that goes,” Wolford said.
Gray’s new role coincides with added responsibilities for Holly Peton, who serves as the city’s director of finance and administration as well as council secretary.
Council approved a $65,000 annual salary for Gray. He had been earning $57,000 as public works director.
Peton, whose additional duties include budget preparation, received a raise from $45,500 to $62,000, Wolford said.
With Peton taking over budgetary duties, the mayor said, Gray can focus on “oversight of the departments, making sure each functions within its budget. It gives him the opportunity to look for grant money, do strategic planning and engage the community.”
Gray said he wants to reach out to businesses in the community and also look at the city’s need for capital projects and purchases over the next five years.
“We want to make sure we don’t have unexpected expenses,” he said.
Council also approved an hourly pay hike of 75 cents, to $9.25, for four crossing guards at Latrobe Elementary School. Gray expressed hope that Greater Latrobe School District, which operates the school, will continue to reimburse the city for half of the guards’ wages.
The guards hadn’t received a pay increase for more than a decade, according to Latrobe police Chief John Sleasman.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .