The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

December 12, 2012

City votes to end redevelopment authority pact

— Johnstown City Council voted to terminate its contractual relationship with the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday.

The action means that the three women whose job transfers sparked a dispute with the authority earlier this month would no longer be city employees, though they will remain members of the union representing those workers.

Ending the contract requires 60 days’ notice. The board authorized City Manager Kristen Denne to hand deliver the notice today.

Mayor Thomas Trigona, along with council members Pete Vizza, Ann Wilson and William Gentile Jr., supported the measure. Frank Janakovic, Marie Mock and Rose Howarth voted against it. Their objections dealt mostly with wanting to have more time to discuss the issue before making a decision. They supported tabling the resolution until another meeting later this month.

Council took action after three union city workers – Sue Truscello, Brenda Saintz and Kelly Smith – were transferred from the Johns­town Regional Sewage office to the Dornick Point sewage treatment plant. The authority owns the sewer operations, but workers are city employees. Council wanted the women returned to their original jobs.

“The contract between the city and the redevelopment authority provides either party can terminate that agreement with 60 days’ notice, so the city felt that since the redevelopment authority was not following its requests to bring those women back in to the office that the redevelopment authority should then assume that responsibility for those employees,” said city solicitor Dave Andrews. “As of now, the city has the liability for any action that the union would bring for those employees. We don’t think the (authority’s) action was right under the law. (They) can’t do that without bargaining first with the union. They should have contacted the city to do that, and the women should have remained in those positions.”

Council members spoke harshly against the authority.

“We don’t know what’s going on with the redevelopment authority,” Mock said. “They refuse to talk to us. ... This has been going on for months, ever since the new billing system (was put into place). We’ve wanted them to come to meetings to give us information on that, and then they throw this out at us. ... The whole thing is just handled wrong. It truly is being run by a rogue administrator over there, and I don’t even know who’s running it.”

United Steelworkers Local 2635 Unit 17 President Craig Cernic supported council’s decision, calling it “a very smart move by the city.”

The contract calls for no lockouts or transfers except through negotiations.

“We didn’t create this (issue),” Gentile said. “I’m saying put them back. It’s a union contract. Put them back where they belong.”

The authority will be responsible for the employees once the agreement is terminated.

Authority Chairman Monsignor Raymond Balta and Executive Director Ron Repak did not want to comment before receiving the notification.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 24, 2014

  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014

  • Katie and Gary Lamer Birthday remembrance bash provides aid to region

    It’s been four years since Johnstown resident Gary Lamer died of complications from pneumonia, but his memory lives on through an annual party that gives back in a big way.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads