The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

August 22, 2013

Cambria County officials split on IT reorganization

Kathy Mellott

EBENSBURG — In a split vote Thursday, the Cambria County commissioners named Steven Ettien as part-time county chief clerk to replace David Knepper, who had held the post since early 2012.

Ettien will perform the clerk’s responsibilities and other duties as required by the commissioners along with holding down his full-time post as director of technology.

He will be paid $30 per hour up to a maximum of $30,000 annually for the part-time post.

Approval for the move came in a 2-1 vote with Commissioners Douglas Lengenfelder and Mark Wissinger in favor and minority Commissioner Thomas Chernisky opposed.

Chernisky said his vote was not a reflection of his opinion of Ettien, but rather his disapproval of the way the matter was handled.

“I think we should advertise for this position and find out the talent pool we have in Cambria County,” Chernisky said.

By not looking outside to fill the post, the county was following past practice, Lengenfelder said.

“We do try to fill internally,” he said.

Knepper, who resigned in July, said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Another split vote involved the Cambria County Salary Board and a dissenting vote by Controller Edward Cernic Jr.

Cernic cast the only no vote earlier Thursday in a motion to change the annual salary of the full-time assistant director for technology – Ettien’s assistant – from more than $57,000 to just under $40,000.

The post recently was vacated through a retirement.

The commissioners, in their subsequent meeting Thursday, transferred Allen Hostetler, the full-time network security engineer, to the assistant director post.

Other changes likely will occur as the county reorganizes the technology department, Lengenfelder said.

Cernic urged the commissioners to consider eliminating the assistant’s position and go through with any other realignments in November and December, when the 2014 budget will be prepared.

Lengenfelder said the county should realize a savings as a result of the reorganization.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County Courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at