Supervisors Spend More Taxpayer Money

Newtown Township's Board of Supervisors hire more employees and set a date to auction the Wyola School House.

While there has been much written about the fiscal cliff nationally, last night the Board of Supervisors seemed all too happy to go over it on behalf of Newtown’s taxpayers. The supervisors approved hiring George Sharretts at a salary of $70,000. They also hired Larry Fischer as a part time employee at $40 per hour for two days a week until the end of the year.

In the case of Mr. Sharretts, the cost to taxpayers will be much more as the full benefits package will add significantly to the overall cost to hire him. That’s right, where most employees are responsible to pay some portion of their medical costs, Mr. Sharetts–along with other township employees and some supervisors–have their insurance premium and their deductible paid by the taxpayers. In addition, Mr. Sharretts will have 14 paid holidays, vacation time as well as other benefits.  

In Mr. Fischer’s case as a 1099 employee, he will not receive benefits.  He will, however, receive $40 per hour to help Township Manager Mike Trio get a preliminary budget accomplished. Last year, Mr. Trio hired Kathleen McGeary at $55,000 per year with full benefits and indicated that she would be responsible for the budget. When I asked why he needed to hire Larry when Kathleen was responsible, Mr. Trio appeared to change her job responsibilities. 

The supervisors spent this additional money while continuing to pay Chief Anderson’s salary while they have him remaining on Administrative Leave. Newtown Township has no preliminary budget and no idea how much taxes will be raised and, yet, there seems to be no limit to how much the township manager and the township supervisors are willing to spend.

Why did they decide to add to the financial burden of the taxpayers? Mr. Sharretts was hired as the Public Works Director. In addition, Mr. Trio indicated that Mr. Sharretts would also act as an assistant to the township manager. Seems when George Clement was the assistant manager, Mr. Trio indicated that the position was not needed and subsequently eliminated the position along with Mr. Clement’s job.

Mr. Trio has now hired Mr. Sharretts as the public works director and assistant to the manager. Manager Trio advertised the pubic works position months ago with no indicator of other assistant to the manager responsibilities noted in the ad. He never filled the position. When it was advertised, did Mr. Sharretts actually apply for the position? Mr. Sharretts’ previous employer was the Archdiocese of Philadelphia where he was the director of general services. He appears to have no public works experience nor the advertised requisite education for the public works director’s job. How did he become the best hire for the job?

Mr. Fischer, as a member and treasurer of the Municipal Authority Board, voted to accept the township’s demand that the Municipal Authority agree to accept as Municial Authority debt bills that the township paid. After I pointed out that some of the bills had already been paid by those responsible for them, Larry admitted that he was wrong and had not had time to check if these bills had already been paid. Mr. Fischer is still the treasurer for the Municipal Authority and is now back as an employee of the township to help prepare the budget. How does Mr. Fischer’s hire not create a conflict of interest?

On Monday, November 26, 2012, at 10 a.m. at the township building, Mr. Trio will auction off Newtown Township’s Wyola School House. He will be selling township history to pay Mr. Sharett and Mr. Fischer’s salary among other expenses.  The minimum bid is $250,000.

That same night, November 26, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the township building, the township will finally hold a budget workshop where Manager Trio and Larry Fischer will present next year’s proposed budget. 

Please consider attending and holding township officials accountable to the taxpayers. Otherwise, the significant tax increase that appears to be likely will certainly become reality.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jackie I November 15, 2012 at 02:59 AM
What's sad is it seems that the residents were dupped by Lambert, catania and gillin in supporting positive change in the last election with ed partridge. The only positive we can see so far is they positively can't run a township. Who ever supported appointing Mike Trio as Manager obviously DID NOT do their homework. Trio was "let go" by two of his prior employers for lack of productivity and insubordination(temper tantrums)! who ever questions this comment. PROVE IT WRONG! It seems that Joe Catania-Denise Zurka, Ross lambert, Partridge(in a pear tree) and Wood(with the Ardmore girlfriend) all supported Mr. Trio! Welcome to Hillbilly Heaven( Newtown Township). We thought we got rid of trouble when we voted Linda HOuldin out! If you thought Houldin was bad, it seems like we voted for her brother Ed Partridge. PATTI, thank you for keeping us abreast. WHY DON'T THEY BROADCAST THE SUPERVISORS MEETINGS ON TV. THEY ARE SO AFRAID TO BROADCAST IT BECAUSE THEY WILL BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE AFTER PEOPLE SEE HOW THEY ACTUALLY FUNCTION!
david jordon November 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Patti, Once again you "stir the pot" with your antics and over reaction. As I am sure you are aware, this new position was approved on last years budget, properly advertised, and interviewed for. I am told Sherretts has a Graduate degree and managed a fleet of vehicles and employees five times what he will be doing in Newtown. Maybe you should do your homework before you start throwing darts. Furthermore, maybe you should give the twp some credit for holding off an entire year (saving money) to hire this guy. You continue to accuse the township manager and supervisors of mismanagement, yet you never provide solutions to anything. Nobody is perfect (except you of course) so give these people a break. Why is it that you continue to write these "blogs" spouting off about what you think you know. Get your facts straight would ya! If you need something to do, go spend some of that money you got through your settlement with Rouse when you took care of yourself and screwed your neighbors...
Patti Wilson November 15, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Here is Mr. Sharretts information from him on LinkedIN:Current Director, Office for General Services at Archdiocese of Philadelphia Past Assistant Director, Office for General Services at Archdiocese of Philadelphia Coordinator of Special Projects at Archdiocese of Philadelphia Circulation Manager, The Catholic Standard and Times at Archdiocese of Philadelphia George Sharretts' Experience Director, Office for General Services Archdiocese of Philadelphia Nonprofit; 201-500 employees; Education Management industry January 2004 – Present (8 years 11 months) Assistant Director, Office for General Services Archdiocese of Philadelphia Nonprofit; 201-500 employees; Education Management industry July 2001 – January 2004 (2 years 7 months) Coordinator of Special Projects Archdiocese of Philadelphia Nonprofit; 201-500 employees; Education Management industry March 1998 – July 2001 (3 years 5 months) Circulation Manager, The Catholic Standard and Times Archdiocese of Philadelphia Nonprofit; 201-500 employees; Education Management industry August 1995 – March 1998 (2 years 8 months) No mention of an undergraduate or graduate degree. The township's advertisement for public works director said that,"A bachelor’s degree in public administration, engineering, business administration, or a related field is required. " If Mr. Sharretts meets all the requirements for the job as posted, then providing a copy of his resume for public view would be helpful.
Patti Wilson November 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM
In addition to my response concerning Mr. Sharretts credentials, I don't know what you mean by "you took care of yourself and screwed your neighbors." I hope that you will further explain why you have made this comment and what you mean.
Dannytheman November 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM
150 people there to protest a zoning change, and Patti, you choose to write about a an administration issue. Mr. Lambert asked for people to come up and speak about the CR issue. You marched up first and spoke about hirings. That is how I believe you are perceived as "screwing your neighbors."
Mrs. V November 16, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Keep it up patti!
Patti Wilson November 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Not even remotely accurate. At Monday's meeting after hiring Sharretts for $70,000 per year plus benefits followed by proposing to hire Fischer for $40 per hour, I spoke during the public comment for this issue against this spending. Then, the Supervisors began the zoning change issue. I did offer comment on that issue, after many others had commented. I spoke in support of those there to protest the zoning change. Township officials unanimously voted to spend more of taxpayer money without regard for taxpayers. Last year, Mr. Trio hired an employee who was to be responsible for the budget. Now, in November, he says he has to hire Larry Fischer to help with the budget. Let's see what the proposal is at the budget workshop on November 26th. I'll bet it will include a tax increase. Taxpayers will have to foot the bill for all these employees as well as the continued payment of medical benefits and the deductibles for employees and some of the Supervisors.
Patti Wilson November 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Thank you, Mrs. V! I appreciate your encouragement.
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