Harrison hires familiar face as township manager
Harrison Township finally has a new manager.
The township commissioners voted unanimously to hire Richard G. Hill.
Hill, who has an accounting firm in Tarentum, had been the township’s auditor for the past four years, according to commissioners’ Chairman William Heasley.
“I think he is going to be a big plus for us because he knows the township, he knows the audit process,” Heasley said.
Hill also is a member of the Freeport Area School Board and the treasurer for Freeport Borough.
Heasley said Hill will not be paid a flat annual salary.
Instead, he will be paid at the rate of $45 per hour.
“It’s going to be more of a personal services contract,” Heasley said. “There are some days he won’t have to work eight hours and some days he’ll need to work more than eight hours.”
The township has budgeted $80,000 for the manager’s wages, according to Heasley.
“He won’t be getting overtime (pay),” Heasley said. “What we are giving him is health care.”
Heasley said Hill expressed an interest in the job as the commissioners searched for a new manager but did not apply.
That was following the resignation of Faith Payne on Aug. 31. Payne had served as the township’s executive secretary for 42 years.
The township used a search firm, Public Partners, to find qualified candidates for the job. Heasley said the commissioners narrowed the list to three and offered the job to J.P. Marino, who initially accepted but then changed his mind.
“He decided it wasn’t for him,” Heasley said.
At that point, Heasley said the commissioners contacted Hill. He said he still was interested and agreed to be interviewed for the job.
After Payne’s resignation, the township’s daily operations initially were handled by Richard Hadley, a former Reserve Township manager who was employed by Public Partners.
More recently, the township retained Ed Kirkwood, a former Lower Burrell city clerk who later was the manager for Butler Township, Butler County.
The township now is searching for a new auditor because those duties would present a conflict of interest for Hill.
Hill also was appointed the collector of the local service tax, chief administrative officer of the township employee and police pension plans and the township’s Right To Know officer.
Tom Yerace is a freelance writer.