Borough manager selected in Mercersburg

March 10, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Arthur Speicher, a Mercersburg resident since 1991, was appointed borough manager by a unanimous vote of the four members of the Mercersburg Borough Council present Monday night following a nearly two-hour executive session.

Speicher, 49, of 5 N. Main St., was selected from a field of 12 applicants. Six were interviewed, and three ended up as finalists. The name of one of the three finalists was not made public.

Speicher will be paid $31,000 a year. He will be on probation for six months, said Tom Suddeth, chairman of the council's personnel committee.


"It was a hard choice," Suddeth said.

Speicher got the edge because he lived in the borough.

"A lot of people prefer that," Suddeth said.

The council also liked Speicher's management, budgeting and business experience, Suddeth said.

Speicher said the family of his wife, Donna, owns McKinstry's Restaurant and Pub on the public square. He and his wife live above the restaurant. She is the restaurant's head chef.

Speicher's background is in managing outside operations at ski resorts, a field he has worked in for more than 25 years, he said.

He is the mountain manager at Ski Liberty in Fairfield, Pa., a position that has him in charge of snow-making and grooming operations. He worked at Whitetail Resort outside Mercersburg previously and also worked for Snow Shoe Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia, he said.

Suddeth said Speicher will assume his borough duties by the end of the month. He has to give notice to his current employer.

Speicher was born in Long Island and studied geology for two years at C.W. Post College in Greenlawn, N.Y. Two of his brothers are New York City police officers.

"I'm people-oriented," Speicher said. "I'm used to dealing with multiple personalities and I'm looking forward to working with the council."

The council also wants Steven Mellott, acting borough secretary and one of the three finalists considered Monday, to stay on in some full-time capacity, Suddeth said.

"We definitely want to keep him on. We're going to meet with him and work out his duties," he said.

Mellott said he earns $15 an hour in his current position. He also is the borough's zoning officer.

If Mellott stays on, the borough's administrative office will be run by three men - Speicher, Mellott and Lewis Smith, billing clerk for the water and sewer departments, Suddeth said.

Speicher will be the borough's seventh manager since 1997.

Suddeth and council members Michele Quattrociocchi and Roger Defibaugh and Council President Joshua Meyers voted to hire Speicher.

Three council members were absent Monday. Mayor James Zeger was present but can vote only to break ties.

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