Scott Andrejchak named new Penn Hills manager
After a months-long search following a resignation that caught the municipality by surprise, Penn Hills has a new manager.
Scott Andrejchak, 39, was appointed by council Sept. 10 by unanimous vote to replace former manager Mohammed Rayan, who served in the post for nine years.
The former Butler County chief clerk will earn $100,000 a year. He will start the job Sept. 17.
“I’ve already met a lot of wonderful people,” Andrejchak said at the meeting. “I think there’s a lot of good things about Penn Hills and a lot of good things that are going to happen and continue to happen. (I’m) really looking forward to being a part of all that.”
Andrejchak also said he is going to make Penn Hills his home “very soon,” as residency is a job requirement.
The original job posting also required candidates to have a Master of Public Administration or related degree and 10 years of progressive administrative experience. While Andrejchak does not have that specific degree, he does hold a law degree from Duquesne University and served stints as manager for both Sharon and Greenville in Mercer County for a combined seven years. He also served as finance director for the City of Clairton for 10 years.
“I did a good job everywhere I’ve been and I’m proud of my record,” he said.
Councilwoman and Deputy Mayor Catherine Sapp agreed.
“He has a massive background and experience in municipal administration and management,” Sapp said.
“All his references came back ‘recommended.’ He’s excited, ready to work, approachable and community-oriented. And importantly, he is not familiar with anyone on council or anyone in administration.”
Kuhn said nine qualified candidates applied for the position.
Kuhn was the only elected official to say anything about Andrejchak’s hiring during the meeting. Council members John Petrucci, Mark Brodnicki and Gary Underwood did not respond to calls seeking comment. Former manager Rayan was absent from the meeting.
Andrejchak was jobless when Butler County commissioners reorganized their office’s staff suddenly on Aug. 29. His salary was $93,890 in his position with the county, according to a Butler County official.
“In this world, changes are made,” he said of Butler County commissioners’ decision. He did not offer other details surrounding his departure. He started the position with Butler County in May 2016.
Butler County Board of Commissioners issued a press release on Aug. 29 that said, in part, “the commissioners have high expectations of those in the executive staff … The commissioners primary goal is to guarantee taxpayers a return on investment that includes a commitment to excellence and ethics in governance, diligent financial oversight and reporting and projections that lead to sound decision-making.”
Sapp said she did not question Andrejchak about details surrounding his departure from Butler County.
Former Penn Hills manager Rayan said he resigned because of interference from politicians in his daily duties. He did not offer specific details or name anyone involved. He also said he would return to his former job as director of public works, an option included in his employment contract.
However, on Sept. 7, Rayan’s secretary said he decided not to take the job and that he would retire from working for Penn Hills.
Rayan’s decision came on the heels of a Tribune-Review story that uncovered details of his contract with the municipality, which allowed him to resign without cause, return to his former position as director of public works and receive a severance amounting to over $220,000.
Penn Hills staff and elected officials have remained silent on circumstances surrounding Rayan’s departure, despite residents’ outcry.
However, Kuhn defended Rayan’s severance during Sept. 10’s meeting after resident Faith Milazzo asked what kind of severance package Andrejchak will be offered.
“A number of people were concerned about what some of us considered a very large severance package for the previous municipal manager,” Milazzo said.
Kuhn said Andrejchak’s offer did not include a severance package. She also reiterated what she said previously about Rayan’s severance.
“If you were presented an opportunity to move into a position, and if that position did not give you any coverage in any way as far as you having any leverage if you were to be removed … That person would be very naïve to step into the other position without some type of guarantee,” Kuhn said.
Kuhn also trumpeted Rayan’s tenure as one that saved the municipality 10 to 20 times more than his severance.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter @dillonswriting.