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Trafford carries over $20K from '05 budget

| Saturday, May 5, 2012, 2:34 a.m.

A carryover of more than $20,000 from Trafford's 2005 budget is being viewed as a small victory by officials and just another step toward fiscal health.

Councilman Frank Bruno said the borough has operated under budget monthly and will continue to until the goal of becoming debt-free by 2009 is achieved.

"We are not sending a message this will alleviate fiscal responsibility for the next four years," he said.

Bruno announced the windfall Tuesday night shortly after the board voted unanimously to promote a part-time police officer to full-time status. The hiring was based on a recommendation from Mayor Kevin Karazsia and Lt. Carmen Disso, officer-in-charge.

"There was money in the budget for a second full-time officer, but we're only paying one," Karazsia said.

Councilman Brett Lloyd said the hiring of Patrolman Mike Socci as the second full-time officer would not compromise the spending plan. Socci has been a part-time borough police officer since July 2001.

After the meeting, Lloyd said council has not yet decided whether it would hire a police chief or simply maintain Disso in an administrative position.

On Feb. 24, council voted unanimously to fire Dave Bossar from the chief's post after a 15-month suspension. Bossar, a 14-year veteran, said he plans to appeal his termination to the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas.

He will join another terminated borough police officer, Ralph Varrato, who will soon appear before Judge Gary Caruso to appeal his March 7, 2005 dismissal.

In other business, council President Rita Windsor announced former street foreman Joel Pryts, who also had appealed his June termination, passed away earlier yesterday.

Pryts, who had served as street foreman for nearly 12 years, was fired after using all his sick days, vacation time and 12 weeks of unpaid leave in accordance with the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

The 59-year-old North Huntingdon Township resident, who was awaiting a kidney transplant, appealed his firing to a union arbitrator and lost.

Mostly recently, Pryts filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the borough of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act when it fired him.

Pryts is survived by his wife, Patty, a sister, brother and several nieces and nephews. Arrangements are being handled by John M. Dobrinick Funeral Home, Seventh Street, Trafford.

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