Supervisors fielded questions from a standing-room-only crowd
By MARY GRZEBIENIAK
UNION TOWNSHIP -- Supervisors made good on two longtime promises Thursday, hiring a second full-time police officer and donating $25,000 to the fire department.
Michael McBride of Enon Valley, a New Castle Police Department officer and former police officer for New Beaver Borough, begins work Feb. 1.
McBride joins a police force made up of full-time Police Chief Joe Lombardo and two part-time officers.
Hiring an additional officer is welcome news in the township because of the growing commercial district. It has been promised for months by Ralph Nuzzo, supervisor chairman, and Supervisor Kevin Guinaugh. Supervisor Steve Galizia favored hiring an officer even earlier.
Questions raised: Paul Rosta, a former township resident, asked why he was never interviewed for the position despite being certified as a police officer and submitting four applications, r & eacute;sum & eacute;s and a letter of recommendation from state Rep. Chris Sainato of New Castle, D-9th.
Although McBride is certified, Rosta said he knows of two uncertified candidates who were interviewed.
While supervisors gave Rosta no answer during the meeting, Nuzzo said afterward that the 40 to 50 applications submitted for the job had to be narrowed down to six or seven for interviews.
Donation for firetruck: Supervisors also presented Pat Angiolelli, president of the township fire company, with $25,000 from the township's community development block grant to be used toward the purchase of a new firetruck. Supervisors had promised to earmark part of the township's grant this year for the department.
Angiolelli, who waged a write-in campaign for Guinaugh's supervisor seat last fall, said he appreciates the township's willingness to share in the department's expenses.
In other business, Nuzzo said he has been informed by the county elections office that Randy Conti, one of the write-in candidates for a township auditor post, will not be able to take his seat because he did not return his acceptance letter by the Dec. 15 deadline. Conti has said he received the letter late.
The action makes permanent the supervisors' appointment of Wes Homner as auditor earlier this month at the organizational meeting.
Supervisors fielded questions on many issues from a standing-room-only crowd of about 30 residents.
Several asked why a woman campaigning for Angiolelli outside the township building last fall was asked to leave the premises, while, some claimed, Nuzzo and a township employee were influencing residents who came in to pay sewer bills to vote for Guinaugh.
After the meeting, Guinaugh conceded, "It was done, but both sides were doing it."
Road issue: Several residents also complained about anti-skid material which is mixed with salt and used by the township to treat slippery roads, saying it is not as effective as salt and that it harms yards and dirties homes.
Guinaugh said using pure salt is too expensive.
Residents then asked whether the cost savings of anti-skid over pure salt are lost because of the cost of having road crews clean it off the roads in the spring. Guinaugh said he has been using the material for years and that these were the first complaints received.
Supervisors agreed to table a request for a change in the zoning ordinance concerning side-yard setback requirements until February.