The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local 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
Local News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 15, 2014

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • District hopes refinancing will save additional $40G

    Refinancing about $4 million in debt will result in savings more than twice as large as initially expected, Windber Area school board members learned Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads