Lower Burrell resident named new city administrator
Amy Luke Rockwell started her career in municipal government 12 years ago as an administrative accounting assistant in Lower Burrell.
Now she’s the city administrator.
After months of searching, council voted 3-0 Monday to hire Rockwell, 49, of Lower Burrell, at a rate of $90,000 a year.
Mayor Richard Callender and Councilmen Robert Hamilton and Christopher Fabry voted in favor of the hire. Councilmen Christopher Koziarski and Joseph Grillo were absent.
“It’s been a long process,“ Callender said. “We’ve done our due diligence, and we’ve come up with the best candidate who we could possibly have.”
Rockwell, who will start July 9, has 12 years of experience in local government management and finance.
She’s currently borough manager in Millvale, where she has worked since April 2013. Before that, she was Upper Burrell’s township manager.
“(I’m) looking forward to start working, digging in and catching up on all of the projects that are going on this summer,“ Rockwell said.
In Millvale, Rockwell was responsible for the oversight and administration of a $4 million budget, the management of operations for 23 employees, the development and coordination of an EcoDistrict Plan, and the implementation of updated human resources policies and the production of the first employee handbook. In Upper Burrell, she managed eight full-time and part-time employees, served as the chief administrative officer for the township’s pension plans, and was responsible for all the township’s accounting and fiscal needs.
Rockwell, who at one point also served as acting city clerk in Lower Burrell, is excited about coming back to work in her hometown.
“Millvale has a special place in my heart — it’s been a great community, a very welcoming community, and we’ve accomplished a lot there,” she said. “Having said that, this is a chance for me to continue my professional development and perform services in my own hometown.”
Lower Burrell currently doesn’t have a city administrator position, but introduced an ordinance Monday to establish one.
As a third-class city, it can choose to run with either a city clerk or a city administrator. A city administrator has more authority over the different city departments than a clerk, Callender said.
“The biggest thing is she will be in charge of all the departments in the city except for the police department,” he said. “She will be able to recommend hiring and firing on all levels. In essence, she is the HR department.”
Callender said council will vote on the proposed ordinance at its next meeting, set for July 2.
“By the time she starts, it will be in play,” he said. “We’ll have already passed the ordinance for a city administrator.”