Layne Steps Down As Upper Pottsgrove Township Manager

Location of Upper Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Upper Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER POTTSGROVE — The township’s worst kept secret was finally made public Monday night when it was announced that Township Manager Jack Layne has resigned to take a job as manager of Maple Shade, N.J.

Layne began his work with the township in May, 2006, taking over to fill the void left by the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Michael Cotter.

Layne had himself resigned earlier in the year as manager of Pottstown Borough and the Pottstown Borough Authority, a position he had held since January, 2003 after leaving a post in Ohio.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131216/layne-steps-down-as-u-pottsgrove-township-manager

Pottstown Borough Manager’s Salary Comparison With Other Pennsylvania Cities

Please look long and hard at the list below and ask yourself WTF is going on with the Pottstown Borough Manager’s salary.  Why are Pottstown taxpayers on the hook for this gigantic salary!  The mayors of the cities listed below are the executives running these communities, not baby kisser like Pottstown’s illustrious Missy Mayor.  Their jobs are comparable to a borough manager only they are running MUCH larger communities with MUCH larger staffs making MUCH less money????????????????  These are also elected officials and more accountable for their actions as opposed to someone hired by their BFF’s and placed in power.

SavePottstown! has also been addressing this ridiculous imbalance and the head-scratching choice of the new Borough Manager – see  http://savepottstown.com/lang/es/2013/02/overpaid/

Here’s the promised comparison list:

- Philadelphia, $174,438 (population 1,526,006)

- Pottstown, $120,000 (population 22,377)

- Pittsburgh, $96,511 (population 305,704)

- Allentown, $95,000 (population 118,032)

- Bethlehem, $90,500 (population 74,982)

- Harrisburg, $80,000 (population 49,528)

- Easton, $80,000 (population 26,800)

- Wilkes-Barre, $79,911 (population 41,498)

- Erie, $65,000, going to $95,000 in 2014 (population 101,786)

- Scranton, $50,000, under review by City Council for an increase (population 76,089)

With the exception of the data on Pottstown and Pittsburgh, the salary figures came from the Scranton Times-Tribune.   Populations are 2010 United States Census results.  The Pittsburgh mayor’s salary is taken from an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Pottstown Reconsiders Government ‘Mission’ And ‘Core Values’

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I would say you get what you pay for but Mr. Flanders makes more money that many mayors of Pennsylvania’s largest cities.  Then again, we are asked to believe that in the entire United States of America there is no one more qualified to run a borough of 22,377 people than the Pottstown Chief of Police.  Interestingly enough, Pottstown’s crime rate is higher than many major cities in Pennsylvania.   I wonder if that was the determining factor for his selection ;)

POTTSTOWN — It is not uncommon for a new company or a new administration to try to re-boot their operation by sitting down and asking themselves “what is our mission?” or “what are our core values?”

Well, you can add the Borough of Pottstown to the list of those organizations.

And even though the borough’s mission statement and core values were updated as recently as Oct. 11, 2011, Borough Manager Mark Flanders has presented borough council with drafts of a new mission statement and new core values for the borough.

He wants to know what they think before they become official.

The mission statement discussion is on the agenda for Wednesday night’s borough council meeting.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130205/NEWS01/130209753/pottstown-reconsiders-government-mission-and-core-values-#full_story

Speaker On Flanders Appointment Quieted By Pottstown Police

Editor’s note: Very Orwellian.

POTTSTOWN — A man who apparently did not understand that comments at borough council meetings are to be made at the beginning was shut down Tuesday night by Borough Council President Stephen Toroney and plain clothes police as he tried to comment on the appointment of Mark Flanders as the new borough manager.

Waiting until a motion and second had been made for Flanders’ appointment, an elderly man in the back of the room, said he had a question on the matter.

But Toroney told him “this is a public meeting and comments are to be made at the beginning of the meeting.”

“How are you supposed to comment when you don’t know what’s going to happen?” asked a woman in the audience.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121113/NEWS01/121119709/speaker-on-flanders-appointment-quieted-by-police

Pottstown Council Chooses Police Chief Mark Flanders As New Borough Manager

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Just another day in paradise!

POTTSTOWN,PA — With a unanimous vote, Police Chief Mark Flanders became Borough Manager Mark Flanders Tuesday night when council unanimously appointed him to the post and unanimously awarded him a one-year contract that nets him $120,000 and four weeks vacation.

Flanders will also remain the police chief until his official retirement in April, however he will not earn two salaries, Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. explained.

“For the one salary, you get both jobs,” Garner said.

Prior to the vote, each council member carefully and quietly enumerated their reasons for supporting Flanders’ candidacy, several of them saying they were impressed with the way he had handled the job since July.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121113/NEWS01/121119711/pottstown-council-chooses-police-chief-mark-flanders-as-new-borough-manager

Dozens Apply For Pottstown Borough Manager Post, Background Checks Pending

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We can only hope that whom ever is selected, and paid a very large salary, will be allowed to do their job. We would expect this person to have formidable expertise for the price tag. Why spend this kind of money if you are just going to hire a sock puppet, yes man/woman? It’s a complete waste of taxpayer money! Based on the previous history in Pottstown, certain people try and “run the show” and circumvent the staff.  If this practice will continue, and I have NO DOUBT it will, then this is an exercise in futility.

POTTSTOWN, PA — Tomorrow is the last day for those interested in becoming Pottstown’s next borough manager to apply and anyone who does will find themselves up against 35 to 40 who have already applied.

Borough Council President Stephen Toroney told council Wednesday that the applications have come from all over the country.

“Some are local, some come from all over the United States and there are some very qualified individuals among them,” he said. “So the process is moving forward.”

Wednesday, council agreed in principle that the process will include a background check costing the borough between $2,500 and $3,000.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120907/NEWS01/120909650/dozens-apply-for-pottstown-borough-manager-post-background-checks-pending&pager=full_story

Many Questions About Jason Bobst’s Departure

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Below is a Letter to the Editor in today’s Fishwrap.  We give two big Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Glenn Mooney of Pottstown for raising his very valid points.  There is far more to Jason’s story, but unfortunately we will never know all the details.  Pottstown politics are nasty and people get tired of beating their head against a wall.  Sometimes you just have to walk away to preserve your own sanity.  Mr. Toroney has learned nothing from Jason’s departure.  We can only hope enough new people get on Council in November to pick a new Council President.  It’s time to clean house!

Referring to the most recent Mercury article by Evan Brandt, dated Aug. 15, I have some questions not about his report but about the mayor and borough council’s account of losing Jason Bobst.  Let me understand, Councilman Toroney stated, and I quote from the article, “He did a fantastic job for us.  But age and experience were not on his side.  He didn’t have the battle scars.  We need someone with experience who has the wherewithal to do a good job for us.”  My bet is Jason could elaborate quite a bit about battle scars!

This sounds a little funny regarding whose choice it was for his leaving Pottstown?  Then we have Mayor Bonnie Heath and Jeff Chomnuk stating that the borough has begun to gain traction in its recovery efforts, due largely to the efforts of Bobst and Finance Director Janice Lee.  Hhmm?  These comments were to help justify going outside to hire a new manager at a 30-percent higher salary.  Then Mayor Heath stated and I quote, “It’s actually kind of an awkward fact that we were paying Jason less than $100,000.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120901/OPINION02/120909989/many-questions-about-jason-bobst-s-departure

Pottstown To Offer $110K To $130K For Manager’s Post

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  For the proposed salary level, a national search had better be conducted!  There are rumors flying around that Pottstown Borough Council has already decided to give the manager position to a current borough employee.  If a wise decision is not made, Pottstown will suffer greatly!

POTTSTOWN — Borough council will decide formally Monday whether to offer a salary range of between $110,000 and $130,00 a year for a new borough manager.

It surfaced during Wednesday’s work session when council heard a presentation from David L. Woglom, former QuakertownBorough Manager and now the associate director for public service at the at Lafayette College.

The Meyner Center was hired by borough council to perform a search for a new borough manager after Jason Bobst submitted his resignation in May after getting a job as West Norriton’s township manager, a post Bobst has already taken up.

Last month council appointed Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders as interim borough manager.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120810/NEWS01/120819948/pottstown-to-offer-110k-to-130k-for-manager-s-post

Jason Bobst Takes Over As West Norriton’s Manager

Editor’s note:  We wish Jason well in his new venture!  Thank you for all you did for Pottstown!

WEST NORRITON TOWNSHIP, PA — Jason Bobst started his new job as township manager on Monday with meetings with acting Township Manager Joe Hein, township employees and township businessmen.

The 30-year-old Cumru, Berks County, resident had given Pottstown borough officials the required 90-day notice but Pottstown appointed Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders as interim manager and let Bobst leave two weeks early to take on his new position.

“The biggest thing is to sit down with the staff,” Bobst said during a Monday morning interview. “The next two days will be to get to know them and getting to work.”

The West Norriton Board of Commissioners approved a two-year employment contract for the $100,000-per-year job along with a car lease for a Ford Explorer. The contract specifies a performance/salary review after the first year.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120731/NEWS03/120739910/bobst-takes-over-as-west-norriton-s-manager-(video)

Bobst Reports Pottstown Borough Financial Picture Looking Up

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Further proof of how devastating losing Jason will be!

POTTSTOWN, PA - It’s starting to look like when Borough Manager Jason Bobst leaves the borough in August, he will be leaving it in pretty good financial shape.

He offered council a mid-year budget status report last week that could be summed up as “most of the funds are going pretty well.”

“Some lines,” he said, “are cause for concern but overall, the borough’s books are on a positive cash basis and we’re projecting a $50,000 surplus at the end of the year, barring anything unexpected.”

Given that as recently as 2009, the borough has ended the year with deficits, this is good news and the result of hard work by Finance Director Janice Lee and her staff, Bobst said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120611/NEWS01/120619941/bobst-reports-borough-financial-picture-looking-up&pager=1

Jody Rhoads Resigns As Pottstown Sixth Ward Councilor Effective Immediately

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pottstown political cesspool has claimed yet another victim.  Man of the People and Sixth Ward Councilor, Jody Rhoads has called it quits in a two sentence email to Borough Hall.  After banging his head against the table, serving approximately four and a half years on Pottstown Borough Council, Jody has had enough.  The man who dared to fight City Hall wants his life back.

This is a huge loss for Pottstown on the heels of Jason Bobst’s recent announcement that he has accepted a job as the new West Norriton Township Manager.  Both of these men have worked to make Pottstown a better place and have tried in their own way to look at the big picture and find a way forward.  However, the “good old boy machine” is just too strong.  Mr. Toroney and his sock puppet majority on council like Pottstown just the way it is and have no intention of letting things change.  If you read the Fishwrap on a regular basis you see Pottstown is in need of sweeping changes based on the news presented.  It’s generally not good news.  The ULI Report may as well never have been written, since we constantly ignore it.  There is no desire to move forward by the majority of the leadership in Pottstown.  They say what they think people want to hear and do the opposite.

Jody was successful in neutralizing Thomas Hylton’s Shade Tree Commission and has been a tireless advocate for cutting costs, keeping taxes down and being a councilor at large for any citizen of Pottstown who needed assistance!  Jody is not a politician.  Instead, Jody is a concerned citizen who gave thousands of hours of his time to serve the residents of Pottstown.  Seeing Jody walking the streets of his ward and talking to his constituents was a common occurrence.  However, there comes a time when you have to cut your losses and move on.

Jody achieved a landslide election victory last November and was sworn in to serve another four years on Pottstown Borough Council in January.  The Sixth Ward and the entire Borough of Pottstown have lost a champion for the people.  It’s a sad day indeed!

We think losing a Borough Manager and a Borough Councilor so close together illustrate Mr. Toroney’s failed leadership as Pottstown Borough Council President.  We think Mr. Toroney needs to do the right thing and step down as well!  Somebody with some vision for the future needs to occupy that position as Mr. Toroney has no plan for the future of Pottstown.

Ask yourself why these two particular people would suddenly resign after being so involved.