New Castle News

October 12, 2013

New city official says he’s committed to job

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Matthew Staniszewski says he is committed to his New Castle job, even though he is running for Washington City Council.

New Castle City Council hired Staniszewski July 25 to head a restructured community and economic development department. His first day on the job was Sept. 16.

He is in his second term on Washington council and won nomination on the Republican ballot in the May primary.

The Washington County elections office said he is one of three candidates on the ballot for two council positions.

Under Pennsylvania’s election code, the deadline for candidates nominated in the primary to withdraw from the November ballot was Aug. 12.

Staniszewski said Friday that although he had been hired in New Castle before Aug. 12, he had to go through a process, including a physical, before he began working here Sept. 16.

Washington Mayor Brenda Davis said Staniszewski has not submitted his resignation, adding that to be on council there, a person must be a city resident.

Asked why he hasn’t resigned his council position, Staniszewski said his term expires Dec. 31, and he considers it “a moot point.”

He would not say what he would do if he were to be re-elected Nov. 5.

“I think it will be a bigger question on Nov. 6,” he said. “This is pure speculation at this point.

“I’m committed to my duties here in New Castle. I love the area. This is my full-time job.

“It’s a non-issue at this point,” he added, regarding what will happen after the election.

He likened his situation to that of New Castle Councilman Thomas Smith, whose full-time job is borough manger of Seven Fields in Butler County.

Under an ordinance amended in 2007, New Castle city employees are required to establish residency in the city within six months of employment unless “specifically excused” by a unanimous vote of council.

That would mean Staniszewski would have to establish residency in New Castle on or about March 16.

City police and firefighters fall under a different requirement, which is spelled out in their labor contracts.

Staniszewski said he has an apartment on Cadet Street, which is on the city’s East Side.

Davis said that if Staniszewski has established residency in New Castle, he would have to resign his council seat.

But, Davis added, “at this point, he is still living here.”

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)