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Category: Manor Township

Manor Advertising for Full-Time Police Chief

Manor Township could have a few new part-time officers and a new full-time police chief later in 2016 to increase patrols in the municipality. (KP File Photo)

by Jonathan Weaver

For the first time in the police department’s history, Manor Township could be advertising for a full-time police chief.

Following a 2-1 approval during their regular meeting last night, Supervisors Paul Rearick, Bob Southworth and newly-appointed Don Palmer will compose a job description and advertisement for the 40-hour-per-week slot.

Rearick brought the matter up for discussion after current part-time Police Chief Mike Karabin’s monthly report.

“I personally feel it’s time for Manor Township to move forward with a full-time police chief in our township,” Rearick said. “With the way the township has been growing – one of the factors being the new (Armstrong Junior-Senior High School), in the past few years we had quite-a-few businesses move into the township – I want to explore this.”

Southworth opposed the motion, and said it was purely because he wanted to see financial figures before he agreed.

“I need the numbers to work before anything gets done,” Southworth said.

Former Supervisor Pat Fabian supported the possible advertisement, and assured Southworth funding is available.

“Whatever (supervisors) can do to make that happen, I’m endorsing it,” Fabian said. “I think it’s going to bring stability to that department.”

Rearick also was confident in current budget figures.

“The numbers, I think, are there in the budget that I think we can do this,” Rearick said.

Resident Bill McMaster suggested hiring a police administrator or investigator instead at a lesser rate, but Rearick dismissed the idea due to liability concerns.

The suggested positions would not have full-police or arrest powers.

Supervisors will also continue looking for grant options to fund the position.

Filling the other 160 hours per month is a different problem for supervisors.

According to Chief Karabin, the part-time roster has dwindled from a full roster of nine officers to four – including the resignation of Jacob McMaster last month.

Rearick explained that part of the problem is the current part-time officers also have full-time jobs that prevent them from working daylight hours.

“Right now, we allocate 320 hours per month and we’re nowhere near filling it,” Rearick said. “We’re to the point now of hiring again because we’re just not getting the coverage we allocated.

“We’re not even getting the basic coverage we offered before.”

Township Vice-Chair Bob Southworth goes over newly-proposed maps for a proposed grant in Rosston Circle with new Supervisor Don Palmer last night.

Palmer then made the motion to hire at least two part-time officers. Secretary Jill Davis said she has resumes available in her office of possible candidates.

“We have to do something here,” Southworth said.

That motion was unanimously passed.

In other news, Fabian told Rearick that no vote is currently scheduled for county commissioners to possibly take action on a municipal-wide LERTA tax abatement.

Last month, supervisors unanimously approved the 10-year tax abatement to stimulate residential and commercial growth, but it has yet to be approved by commissioners or the Armstrong School District board directors.

Fabian – who supports the tax abatement program – said a meeting with school directors, economic development and county planners is pending to discuss the matter.

Rearick said he already talked to two school directors since four local building permits have already been submitted. He said he would be available to speak to the rest of the school directors if requested.

Former Political Candidate Appointed Manor Township Supervisor

Manor Township supervisors appointed Don Palmer to fill the vacancy left by now-County Commissioner Pat Fabian.

by Jonathan Weaver

By the end of this week, Manor Township might officially have its third Township Supervisor

During a special meeting last night, resident Don Palmer was unanimously appointed to fill the supervisor vacancy created after Pat Fabian won the November General Election for County Commissioner.

Palmer interviewed for the vacancy two weeks ago and will be soon schedule to be sworn-in.

“I’ve always been involved in community service in one form or fashion. The past year, I haven’t been as involved because I built a new house, so on and so forth, but now that the house is done it’s time to get back into it,” Palmer said. “Helping the community any way that I can.”

In Indiana County, Palmer worked with Indiana Borough, Indiana County Emergency Management and was a volunteer firefighter.

He has since also become a Manor Township volunteer firefighter and a few local gun clubs.

“I’m able to multitask and do a lot of good things,” Palmer said.

This is not Palmer’s first venture into politics. He was a 2011 Indiana County Commissioner candidate before moving to Manor Township nearly two years ago.

“That’s no reason to give up – I enjoy being involved in politics and local government, so here I am,” Palmer said.

Besides the current cat epidemic, Palmer knows there are other issues to address, but wants to “get a full scope and understanding of what’s going on” with his now-fellow supervisors first.

“Now that I’ve been appointed, we have to make sure we make decisions that are fair to everybody. It’s (about) what is best for the entire township we need to be concerned about,” Palmer said.

Palmer, who will serve until the next municipal election, lives near Lenape Technical School with wife, Sandra.

Supervisor Chair Paul Rearick made the motion for Palmer’s appointment.

“We had nine very-qualified candidates, (but) looking at (Palmer’s) resume, it was very detailed, he’s been involved in government before for a number of years and he’s been active in the community, so I felt he was the most-qualified of the nine people we had apply, Rearick said.

“My focus was on who would have the most interest in the majority of the township residents at heart. Hopefully, we can continue to move forward as we have during the past four years.”

Supervisor Vice-Chair Bob Southworth echoed Rearick’s comments before seconding the recommendation.

Palmer was congratulated by local residents in the audience at the conclusion of the meeting.