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Plum manager denies quitting

| Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Michael Thomas said Tuesday he still is Plum's manager.

"I didn't resign," Thomas said. "And I've notified council that I didn't resign."

Plum Councilman David Vento told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Monday night that Thomas, manager for two years, quit during a closed session after Monday's council meeting .

But Thomas, 41, said he lost his temper during the executive session that he had requested, and his anger was directed toward Council President Charles McMeekin.

"I was upset and very angry with yet another attempt by Councilman McMeekin to try to act unilaterally, and I would not participate in that," Thomas said. "It led to a confrontation between he and I."

Thomas, of Plum, whose annual salary is $70,000, declined to discuss the nature of the confrontation.

McMeekin said he told Thomas earlier Monday to get the police department's K-9 unit to come to the council meeting, and Thomas responded that he wouldn't do it because he didn't have the authority to ask a police officer to attend a meeting that would require overtime pay. Council members were discussing expansion of the police dog program.

Plum Mayor Richard Hrivnak has jurisdiction over the police department.

Thomas said he went into the closed meeting and told the council members that he "had enough."

"I said, 'I have a 1-month-old and two mortgages on two houses, and I've had enough of this (expletive),'" Thomas said. "I said, 'I'm done with this.'"

Thomas said he then left the borough building.

Councilman Michael Doyle said he was under the impression that Thomas had resigned.

Thomas said he had intended to come to work yesterday but changed his mind after finding out that McMeekin had appointed an interim manager and that he was not permitted on the premises.

Doyle, the personnel committee chairman, said no determination was made about how to characterize Thomas' day off yesterday. He said Planning Director Greg Bachy and borough Secretary Maria Gingery were in charge yesterday.

Doyle, who was not part of the decision to make the interim appointments, said he didn't know what Thomas' status would be today.

McMeekin declined comment about Thomas' status because it's a personnel matter.

Thomas said he plans to go to work today.

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