Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Monroeville Solicitor Defends Veto of Interim Manager Salary

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Monroeville Solicitor Defends Veto of Interim Manager Salary

Article excerpt

Monroeville interim manager Lynette McKinney, appointed after the sudden resignation of former manager Jeff Silka last month, isn't being paid for the job she's doing.

Mayor Greg Erosenko on Feb. 12 vetoed Ms. McKinney's $86,808 salary, saying that salary, when added to the $67,500 and seven months of benefits to be paid to Mr. Silka as part of his severance package, "exceeds the approved salary and benefits package for the manager position for fiscal year 2013."

Ms. McKinney is being paid $51,932, which is what she was making as a municipal secretary, her previous position.

Some question Mr. Erosenko's right to veto Ms. McKinney's pay. Councilwoman Lois Drumheller said the municipality's home rule charter gives the mayor the right to veto only ordinances, and the vote to promote Ms. McKinney from secretary to interim manager and the salary hike commensurate with the promotion was not in an ordinance.

"That was a motion," Ms. Drumheller said. "That wasn't advertised as an ordinance."

But municipal solicitor Bruce Dice said the Pennsylvania Borough Code supersedes Monroeville's home rule charter. He said any expenditure of money by the municipality has to be approved by the mayor.

"If it's a legislative act such as the contracting of someone to perform a service, that [can be vetoed] by the mayor," Mr. Dice said.

Ms. Drumheller disagrees that the borough code supersedes the charter and said she "would like to have proof positive" that the mayor has the right to veto Ms. McKinney's salary.

Others have speculated that the mayor's veto was in retaliation for a harassment complaint Ms. McKinney filed against the mayor with Mr. Silka in July.

Ms. McKinney said Mr. Erosenko told her, among other things, that she "better have an explanation or I'm going to take your head off" and to "fly below the radar or you may not have a job at the end of this."

Mr. Erosenko declined to comment on the allegations, saying he didn't want to "add to the circus."

Mr. Erosenko said he vetoed the salary because it put the municipality "way over what was budgeted for 2013. …

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