New Castle News


February 5, 2014

Pulaski supervisors balk at $10 wage rate

NEW CASTLE — Two Pulaski supervisors have rejected the $10 per hour granted them by township auditors last month for roadmaster work.

When the supervisors met Monday, Sam Varano said he and Lori Sniezek will not accept the reduced wage but instead explore the possibility of hiring a full-time township manager to do the work.

Varano said he has been working as a facilitator and roadmaster for nine years and Sniezek for seven years. He said they have been paid $14.45 per hour for the last several years for the snowplowing work, done on an as-needed basis.

He added he and Sniezek have gone out many times as “facilitators” to oversee road work and “did it gratis” to save the township money.

He commented he and Sniezek do not begrudge the third supervisor, Greg Carna, the $15.50 per hour the auditors had granted him because he has a commercial driver’s license. But, he added, the majority of the snowplowing work is done with a one-ton truck for which no CDL is needed.

Carna said after the meeting he thinks the auditors were wrong to reduce wages for his fellow supervisors.

Varano said he called the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors for advice and was told the supervisors have two options.

One is to ask the auditors for another meeting to provide documentation and an explanation of why they lowered the wage.

To that end, Varano said, the supervisors wrote a letter to auditors Bruce Clingan and Dan Abramson that township personnel transmitted by mail, certified mail, voicemail and personal delivery. He said they did not respond and there was “no meeting, no explanation and no documentation.”

The other option offered by the association, Varano said, is to hire a township manager to do the roadmaster work.

Varano said it would be a position similar to the one held by Pat Angiolelli in Union Township or Joe Gierlach in Neshannock Township. He estimated wages and benefits would amount to $65,000 or $70,000 per year.

Township Solicitor Richard Harper said another option is challenging the wages in court. He noted there is a legal precedent, set by Union Township, that requires auditors to set a reasonable wage for roadmasters similar to what other area communities pay.

Harper pointed out he could not represent the supervisors, because they would be fighting for their personal wages.

Varano commented he would not hire an attorney to fight for the job that paid him approximately $800 last year.

James Miller, the third township auditor, also made a formal statement during the meeting.

He said Abramson’s and Clingan’s votes to reduce Varano’s and Sniezek’s hourly wages to $10 was “unwarranted and without merit.”

Miller said the hours worked by the supervisors as roadmasters are “minimal” and do not place a financial burden on the township.

“I feel the ... auditors should have honored the supervisors’ request to set all roadmaster wages at $14.45 per hour.”

Miller also noted he did not have an opportunity to cast a vote at the auditors meeting where roadmaster wages were set because it was scheduled for Jan. 15.

He said he had told Clingan and Abramson he would be out of town Jan. 13 to 17 on a work-related seminar required by his employer. He said the two did not return his calls asking that the meeting be scheduled later.

He said he believes auditors meetings should be set at a time to accommodate the supervisors, because their wages are being approved, as well as being convenient for the public.

He noted a 1 p.m. meeting is inconvenient for the supervisors, all of whom have full-time employment outside the township.

Tuesday, Abramson said he had not responded to the supervisors’ request for a second meeting because he didn’t think another session was needed. He said the supervisors would not give him a list of 2013 roadmaster wages unless he filed a formal request for the information and paid per page for the copies.

“If they had been cordial enough to give us the information we asked for, we would have granted them the wages they asked.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Shenango1.jpg Shenango Township: Supervisors fire Tanner, release DeLorenzo

    The Shenango supervisors fired township secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and terminated auditor and consultant Deno DeLorenzo last night.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos 4 Stories

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to take action on Tanner, DeLorenzo

    Shenango’s supervisors will act Thursday night on the employment contracts of two men being investigated for possible theft of township funds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

House Ads

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results