The following elected officials were present: R. Carlucci; Paul Coffey (via teleconference); N. Kovach; J. O'Malley; M. Warhold; R. Zezulewicz; D. Baumgarten. Council Member M. Cheberenchick was absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Manager and D. Biondo, Solicitor.
Mr. Zezulewicz noted that all council members were notified that the special meeting was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to vote for a new chief of police. Mr. Coffey was out of town and attended the meeting via teleconference to cast his vote.
Mr. Zezulewicz stated that council has conducted a thorough process to search for the best candidate and contracted with the Pennsylvania State Chiefs of Police Association to rate all candidates by their capabilities and skills and education. The top two candidates were interviewed previously by borough council.
Mr. Zezulewicz officially opened the public comment section of the meeting.
Fred Cofini, 985 Redwood Drive - stated he has been a borough resident for forty-five years and is closely associated with the former chief and the police officers in the borough's department. Castle Shannon has the finest police officers in experience, loyalty, knowledge and longevity, and Mr. Cofini believes the chief's position should be filled with an officer from the borough's department. Mr. Zezulewicz responded that the hiring of a third party was determined to avoid personal relationships and friendships in the selection process and to enable council to make the best choice based on qualifications, education and skill levels. All candidates were rated fairly by the board of chiefs.
Jerry Kaschak, 3729 Grant Street - asked council to consider promoting a current Castle Shannon officer to the chief's position. A discussion continued regarding the fact that only one police officer lives in the borough. Mr. Kaschak asked council to do their best and pick the right man for the job.
Vince Cofini, 817 Maplewood Drive - stated that if the chief candidate's qualifications came close to an existing officer's qualifications, council should hire from within the department.
Mr. Zezulewicz closed the public comment section.
Ms. O'Malley stated that this was a hard decision and that either of the two top candidates would be a good hire for the borough. Ms. O'Malley added that she will vote for the best candidate for the job.
Mr. Warhold stated that this was the hardest decision he has had in his five years on borough council. He has spoken to police officers from other communities. Both of the top two candidates were excellent and highly qualified for the position.
Ms. Kovach stated that when the interviews were conducted, the chief's board advised that council should find the personality that would suit the borough best. Ms. Kovach believes that one of the candidates had a better management style and has a background of administration, road experience and supervisory work.
Mayor Baumgarten and council agreed that the borough has the finest police force in the South Hills. Mayor Baumgarten added that this is a very important decision. Mr. Zezulewicz stated this is the second time that council has hired a police chief since he has been serving on council. The chief was hired seventeen years ago.
Mr. Zezulewicz stated that the chief of police board's number one rated candidate was Kenneth Truver. Mr. Carlucci motioned to appoint Kenneth M. Truver as the new police chief of Castle Shannon starting in thirty days pending successful resolution of an employment agreement; Ms. O'Malley seconded the motion.
A roll call vote was conducted: Ms. O'Malley - yes; Mr. Carlucci - yes; Mr. Warhold - yes; Mr. Zezulewicz - yes; Mr. Coffey - no; Ms. Kovach - no. The motion carried with a vote of four to two.
The minutes of the July 13, 2009 council meeting were presented. Mr. Warhold motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Coffey seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Carlucci motioned to adjourn; Mr. Coffey seconded; all in favor; motion carried.