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Allegheny Twp. gets 30 resumes for manager's job

| Monday, July 8, 2002

ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP: The township has received 30 resumes for its manager position.

The job was approved in March by a divided board of supervisors.

Supervisors Chairman Howard Baybrook said the township might start interviewing candidates at the end of this month.

Supervisors will narrow the list to three candidates and might hire one in September.

Baybrook would not say if any of the candidates is from the Valley.

The search was nationwide with a deadline in late May. In 1998, a nine-member committee studied the merits of hiring a manager and concluded that the growing township of about 8,000 would benefit.

Most of the township's long-range improvement work is left to supervisors who might not have free time to devote to it.

The committee of residents found that a manager could save money on legal and consultant fees, acquire grants and control growth. But supervisors at the time turned down the idea because they would have had to raise taxes.

Now, some of the supervisors believe there will be enough money in the budget to afford a manager.

Supervisor John Framel points to projected housing and commercial growth, which will bring in additional tax revenue, as well as a $50,000 surplus that unexpectedly came in last year.

Allegheny Township advertised that it would pay the manager "in the $50,000 range," Baybrook said. The township placed ads in local newspapers, statewide township publications and a national township publication.

The Pennsylvania Center for Local Government Services, which is affiliated with the state Department of Community and Economic Development, has been helping with their search.

Officials from the center sorted the 30 resumes by candidates' track records in management, budgeting, labor relations, planning and land use.

To remain objective, supervisors did not see the resumes until the center had sorted them, Baybrook said.

A Department of Community and Economic Development spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

Framel and Baybrook have a different approach to taxes and the manager position.

This week, Framel said: "We will not move forward with a township manager if this causes us in any way to consider a tax increase. We'll do it with existing funds and existing cash flows."

Baybrook responded: "That's not my position at all. My position is it's a necessary job for the long-term viability of the township."

Later, Baybrook added that "we aren't anticipating any increases."

In March, when creation of the position was up for a vote, the third supervisor, Dan Smetanick, voted against it.

Smetanick said he didn't think the township could afford a manager because it would take a couple of years before new housing plans are built and the resulting tax money comes in.

The township manager will answer to the supervisors and be in charge of the township's 21 full-time and 11 part-time employees.

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