New Castle News

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April 20, 2012

Photos, Video, Story: Neshannock manager resigns after just two weeks on job

NEW CASTLE — (Video screen appears below story.)

After only two weeks on the job, Neshannock Township manager Craig Altman has resigned.

At a special meeting Thursday morning, Supervisors Ed Stevens, Joe Gierlach and chairman Ralph Sheen approved the resignation.

That was the first yes vote on the topic cast by Gierlach, who opposed creating the position, advertising for it and hiring someone to fill it.

Reading Altman’s letter, Sheen noted “personal reasons” were cited for the sudden departure.

“That said, we’ll go ahead and look for a manager as (we did) before,” Sheen said.

This prompted comments from township resident John DiCola Sr.

“You say you’re seeking volunteers,” DiCola said. “A very well-qualified person had volunteered to take that position and you never considered him.”

Among the applicants for manager was former township supervisor Gale Measel Jr., who had served 24 years as supervisor, many as chairman.

Prior to Altman’s hiring, Measel had said he would take the manager’s job on a volunteer basis, saving the township the $40,000 salary budgeted for the post.

Altman’s letter was dated April 13 — two days after he attended his first and only supervisors’ meeting as manager. It stated his resignation was effective April 16.

This raised Gierlach’s ire.

Following the meeting, Gierlach said he had not been told of the resignation in a timely manner.

“Yesterday (Wednesday), I sent Ed Stevens a text asking him what was going on,” Gierlach said. “As of 4 p.m., he had not responded.”

Gierlach said he found a copy of Altman’s letter of resignation in his office at the township building yesterday morning, prior to the meeting. “And (Stevens) said he’d known of the resignation since Tuesday.”

Attempts to reach Altman by phone and Stevens by phone and email were unsuccessful.

The New Castle News filed an open records request March 22 for Altman’s resume and job application and the resumes of other applicants for the manager’s post. The information still has not been provided.

On March 26, Sandra Snyder, the township’s open records officer, sent a letter informing The News that additional time was required to process the request and information would not be available for 30 days.

Yesterday’s meeting, advertised as a “general purpose meeting,” had been scheduled at the supervisors’ April 11 meeting. At that time, the supervisors indicated they were planning a meeting to discuss “personnel.” No personnel issues were raised yesterday and the supervisors did not have an executive session with solicitor Lou Perrotta.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

 

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