Plum Continues Restructuring, Creates New Position
Council approves new administrative position to aid Public Works department; Bachy gets bumped to assistant borough manager
Plum Council approved a newly-created position in borough administration at Monday's meeting.
Council approved the public works position with a 4-2 vote, hiring employee Tressa Usher to take on some of the duties of fired assistant public works director Alan Lyons.
Skip Taylor and Charles McMeekin opposed creating the position, and Leonard Szarmach was absent.
McMeekin said he opposed the position, not the person taking the position.
Both McMeekin and Taylor said it is unnecessary.
“It’s a duplication of services,” Taylor said.
The 18-man public works crew already has five bosses: public works director Bill Berchick, assistant borough manager Greg Bachy and three foremen.
The newly created position will put yet another person in charge over the laborers, he said.
“How many more bosses do you need?” McMeekin said.
“We’re going to have more chiefs than Indians here,” Taylor said.
Usher was appointed to the newly created position with a $36,400 salary. She previously worked in the income tax department, Borough Manager Michael Thomas said.
Council fired Lyons in December due to negligence and has since eliminated that position.
Former duties from the assistant public works position and the public works secretary position, which has also been eliminated, have been combined into the new department administrative position.
The removed assistant public works director position had also included in-field duties that have now been assigned to Berchick, Thomas said.
The public works director position, in turn, has policy-related duties that have been passed to Bachy, who is now the assistant borough manager.
The board unanimously appointed assistant planning director Jason Straley to take over Greg Bachy’s title as the borough zoning officer.
The borough restructuring will not increase the budget, personnel chairman Keith Nowalk said.
The borough has staffed about 15 workers for the past 30 years, but Thomas said the borough's needs have changed during that time.
The Plum population has grown 25 percent during that time frame, he said.
"Everything we’re responsible for has doubled,” Thomas said.
“What we do now is different than what we did 30 years ago."
Editor's note: To maintain transparency, please note that editor Holly Usher is the daughter of hired employee Tressa Usher.