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New borough manager in Mercersburg

December 13, 1997

New borough manager in Mercersburg

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - James E. Leventry, a Johnstown, Pa., native, will begin work as Mercersburg's new borough manager on Dec. 29 but he won't know his duties until the Borough Council adopts a new ordinance, possibly later this month.

Leventry, 38, was selected from a field of 19 candidates for the $30,000-a-year job.

He will replace acting Borough Manager Barbara C. Deason of Chambersburg, Pa. She was hired on Oct. 13 to replace Judy Chambers.

Chambers resigned after eight years on the job when the council voted to cut her salary from $36,000 to $30,000. The Council is rewriting the ordinance that spells out the manager's duties.

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Chambers supervised all borough functions including office and administration as well as outside street and building maintenance crews. Some council members favor splitting the duties with the borough manager supervising inside functions and appointing another supervisor for those who work outside.

Deason said she is readying a new ordinance proposal to be advertised by Dec. 17 with a formal council vote on it set for Dec. 31.

The council's makeup changed after the Nov. 4 election. Mayor Thomas Ralston decided not to seek re-election when the council proposed another ordinance that would eliminate his $500-a-year salary. He will be succeeded by Harold Wagner who won the mayor's seat in a write-in vote.

Wagner will not be paid. Council members also serve at no charge.

Incumbent Councilwoman Judith Gossert lost her re-election bid to write-in candidate Thomas Heefner. John Difibaugh won the seat being vacated by incumbent John Pentz who chose not to seek reelection.

On Oct. 14 the Council appointed Elizabeth Brown to replace Councilman Ed Twine who moved out of the borough.

Incoming council members have asked that action be delayed on the new ordinance until the new council is sworn in Jan.1.

Leventry said the issue was explained to him before he was hired.

"I'm aware of what's going on," he said.

According to his resume, Leventry worked from August1 993 to June of this year as executive director of the Hidden Valley Foundation Inc., one of the largest resort developments in the state with more than 1,000 units. He was in charge of the resort's homeowners' association, he said

His duties included supervision of roads, grounds, facilities and the water and sewer plant, plus investment of funds, purchasing, collections and budgets.

His position was eliminated in June by downsizing and corporate restructuring, he said.

Leventry managed a bank branch for nine years until 1993. The Mercersburg job will be his first public service post, he said.

He and his wife, Maryellen, will move into an apartment in Mercersburg, he said.

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