Pottstown Police Department Versus Scranton Police Department

Editor’s note:  Scranton had a population of 76,089 according to the 2010 census.   The city is 25 square miles.  According to Citydata.com, Scranton had 150 police officers and a department of 170 as of 2010.   The crime rate in Scranton for 2010 was 275.7 (US average is 319.1).

Scranton currently has an acting Chief of Police whose salary is the same as the permanent Chief who stepped down three months ago.  The salary for running a department of 170, in a city of 76,000 people is $81,073.

Pottstown had 22,377 residents according to the 2010 census and is 5 square miles.   Pottstown had a police department of 46 officers (58 total) per Citydata.com’s data for 2010. Pottstown’s crime rate for 2010 was 539 (US average 319.1).  

Pottstown’s Chief of Police/Acting Borough Manager is already making more than $100,000.00 a year.

The cost of living differences being taken into consideration, Scranton is 3 1/2 times the size of Pottstown in population, 5 time as large as Pottstown in area and has a police department 3 times the size of Pottstown’s and yet Scranton’s Chief of Police makes $20,000 less a year than Pottstown’s???  We won’t even get into the difference in the crime rate between the two (HINT: Scranton is safer).

Does this not illustrate why Pottstown’s budget is grossly over inflated?  Does this not indicate paying a new borough manager way more than Jason Bobst was making is fiscal insanity?  

The mayor of Scranton, who is the chief executive and not a ribbon cutter like Pottstown’s Missy Mayor, makes $81,872 (far less than Jason did) and he runs a city 3 1/2 time the size of Pottstown.  And trust me, running Scranton is more challenging than running Pottstown.

Pottstown Borough Council might as well start a bonfire in Smith Plaza, throw the taxpayer’s money in, make a few s’mores and call it a day!

Here is the link to the article about how Scranton is handling their police department: 


9 comments on “Pottstown Police Department Versus Scranton Police Department

  1. Well, Roy, Pottstown’s cost of living is considerably higher than it is in Scranton. Rent, housing and taxes are higher. (ex: Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010, Pottstown $142,100, Scranton $106,300) That accounts for the difference in salaries…There are also more people per square mile in Pottstown. (Pottstown: 4,577.9 per/sq mi, Scranton: 3,006.4) The crime rate is higher, as stated in your notes. That being said, what lead to the crime rate being higher is something that needs to be discussed. In no way should the police commissioner be given the borough manager position with crime as high as it is. What proof do we have that he won’t screw up the borough more from the manager position? Why don’t we have a mayor like they do in Scranton that actually runs the town? I mean, frankly, the fact that the individual that actually runs Pottstown is not an elected official disgusts me. Things like this hinder progress and allow the insiders to have their own way. It’s just like Cuba’s election process. You elect your representative, who is the only choice on the ballot, and then the parliament elects the leader. That’s how the people don’t have a say in their communist government. We’re no better in Pottstown.

  2. Julia, I am well aware that the cost of living is higher in Pottstown, hence my comment, “The cost of living differences being taken into consideration”. However, Scranton is a much larger city, with a much larger police department. The police department in Scranton is as large as Pottstown’s entire borough government. There is no way we should be paying someone more money for managing 1/3 the amount of people. That just doesn’t make any sense. It also is ridiculous to think that the mayor of a city with 76,000 should make less than the Pottstown Borough Manager considering the size and scope of their city workforce.

  3. Julia, the observation about the strong mayor form of government has merit, as you explained. I had not wrapped my mind around the reasons why our system seems so “user unfriendly.” Although, the Council Prez, in the representative form of govt., is actually the “top dog” and has the ability to hire/fire the manager. We don’t have a strong Council Prez. and that’s contributing to the communities inability to progress.

    As Roy has pointed out, the powers-that-be have done one thing very well, and that is to maintain the bodacious salaries of people who work for the borough/taxpayers. In my working years, pride in accomplishment was food for my soul. I look around at the conditions of Pottstown and ask myself, do they feel pride? How can they feel pride?

    I have a cartoon in my head, (little transferable artistic ability to put it on paper), a King and his court sitting above the fray, in their castle across the moat, fingers interlocked around their ample bellies, reclining slightly and grinning from satiation while looking down among the tattered, desperate people of the village who have all but given up begging for a crumb…just a crumb of sustenance for the body, the soul, the mind. The caption reads, “ahhh another days work at an end, and look what we have accomplished.”\

    People typically got their jobs and promotions here because of who they knew not what they knew. That has been a time honored, proven bassackwards approach to running a municipality yet, that’s what council prez, Toroney seems hell-bent on perpetuating by moving Flanders into the borough manager position, and now…Drumheller into the police chief position. I hear that the men who work for him are not any fonder of his management style than of Flanders and there is dread among the rank and file. A revolt in the village may be the only thing that will save this community.

  4. Pingback: Borough Manager Position, More…R.V.B…High Crime in Pottstown |

  5. The tax base in Pottstown cannot support the budget, which includes these huge salaries. Any belt-tightening has been ceremonial. A handful of people are laughing all the way to the bank at taxpayer expense. Hell, they don’t even live in Pottstown. That money goes right over the municipal boundary on payday.

    Property values continue to drop, which makes revenue drop, which makes budget gaps. Pottstown will eventually end up in Act 47 because people are selling and walking away from their homes in droves. What’s replacing them is Section 8 rentals.

    By promoting within, the cycle continues. It’s bad enough they are not seriously looking at outside candidates but increasing the salary to between $115,000 and $130,000 is making the budget situation worse. It’s not sustainable at the current level. It’s a waste of taxpayer money. Nothing will change except one person gets a big fat raise. Pottstown does not benefit.

  6. It all comes down to experience in regards to the Borough Manager position. Flanders has a few months experience and they want to pay him the top range. I am sure the other candidates who applied have more than a few months experience and would accept the position in the lower part of the range. How can the council justify hiring Flanders with no Borough management experience over a candidate with many years experience. The question that needs to be asked to council is did any potential candidate have over 3 year experience?, 5 years experience, 10 years experience in the “Borough Manager” role. If so, how can you choose someone with no experience?

  7. Roy, you’ve probably seen this opinion piece in the Merc. and commendation is in order. They’ve spoken up, in harmony, with you, me and the residents of Pottstown. I don’t know if a clearer message could be sent to borough council but tonight’s the night we’ll understand just how well our representatives represent taxpayers.

    Pottstown Fails to Look Outside the Box for a New Borough Manager

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