The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 10, 2013

Cambria tax collectors, constables going unpaid

EBENSBURG — Today will be a payless payday for more than 50 constables and tax collectors in Cambria County.

At issue is the filling of a vacancy in the office of county controller Ed Cernic, a vacancy that Cernic said leaves him without enough people to do the work.

For longtime Constable Sam Allison of Johnstown, whatever the reason, a payday without pay is not acceptable.

“This is the first time in all the years I’ve been a constable that this has happened,” Allison told the county commissioners on Thursday.

Impacted are 26 constables and 27 tax collectors, all considered contract workers for the county. For now, no one can say when they will be paid.

The regular biweekly payroll for full- and part-time employees is handled by Cambria’s human resources department and will not be impacted by the staff shortage in the controller’s office, the commissioners said.

While the payments for the constables are not huge, they include money for services and mileage reimbursement, Allison said.

“They put their lives on the line, and why do we get a letter saying we have to wait until February? The constables have not stopped working,” Allison said.

The employee in the controller’s office who handles payments for the constables and tax collectors resigned in early November and has not been replaced, Cernic said.

Commissioners Doug Lengenfelder and Mark Wissinger said they advertised the vacancy internally and no one applied.

The staffing shortage prompted the commissioners to urge Cernic to prioritize work and to use the time to pay individuals first, Lengenfelder said.

“We agree that position is an important position and we opened it up to the entire county employee group,” he said.

While a hiring freeze is not in place, Wissinger said, efforts are ongoing to avoid hiring new people and transfer within the ranks to fill vacancies.

But those efforts aren’t helping the controller’s office or the constables and tax collectors who need to be paid, Cernic said.

The seven people comprising his staff don’t have time to process the constable and tax collectors’ information for payment and he has already been hit with a union grievance for having nonunion people do work handled by union workers, he said.

“That position not being filled disrupts the entire office,” Cernic said.

Commissioner Tom Chernisky wants the position filled as soon as possible with a new employee if need be.

“I do agree you should be paid,” he told Allison. “It should be filled now.”

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
  • fire_23 Investigators seek cause of West End fire

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday at a vacant structure in the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not been determined, according to city fire officials.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland seeks loan for roof, HVAC work

    Richland Township’s plans to replace the municipal building’s roof and heating and air conditioning system will cost nearly $600,000, Solicitor Gary Costlow said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Undocumented children already arriving in state

    An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is spilling over into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Driver in fatal DUI crash will serve jail time

    A Vintondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to serve 16 to 32 months in the county jail for a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed a woman.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Reade Twp. water projects receive funding

    Three water treatment systems in Cambria County will receive financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection to remove acid mine drainage from nearby waterways.

    July 22, 2014

  • stoystown Tractor Fest Antique tractors chugging toward Stoystown fest

    A display of a whole lotta horsepower and pulling contests will highlight the 14th annual Antique Tractor Festival.
    Sponsored by Stoystown Lions Club and Laurel Highlands Antique Power Club, the event will be held July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Lions’ park, one-half mile east of Stoystown on Route 30.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish dance school wants to set toes tapping in Cambria County

    If you ever wanted to learn to dance an Irish jig, now is your chance.
    Kenny Cavanaugh School of Irish Dance, based out of Milford, Pike County, is expanding into Cambria County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State for $1M

    A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

    July 22, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads