Waynesburg Borough Council will have some important decisions to make in the next few months as it hires new people to replace police Chief Tim Hawfield and borough administrator Bruce Wermlinger.
Both recently informed council they will be leaving borough employment this summer.
Hawfield will retire in July after 34 years as chief. In our view, Hawfield has served the borough well. He is committed to his job, is well liked in the community and runs a good police force.
No one will be able to manage the department quite like he has, and that is a point worth considering. The new police chief may be as competent and dedicated as Hawfield; however, there will be someone new taking charge, which will mean change and possibly a new direction for the department.
A new chief will have to make the situation work especially if he intends to lead, teach and inspire the patrolmen under his wing. We also believe a new chief eventually may have to face what many small police departments already have experienced, which is smaller and smaller budgets.
Wermlinger, borough manager from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2009 to the present, said he will be leaving his post sometime this summer when he moves to North Carolina.
He, too, has been committed to his job and a good steward both of borough finances and its daily operations.
A new manager will have his own style and ideas. Right from the start, the new manager also will have to be ready to address at least one major project, the start of the borough’s $4 million sewerage improvement project.
Waynesburg Borough is required by the state Department of Environmental Protection to complete work to separate its storm sewers from its sanitary sewers by the end of 2015. It’s going to be a big project and it will take much direction and oversight on the part of the borough manager to be completed successfully.
In any event, the borough could face many changes later this year , not the least of which is the loss of two very competent administrators. We just hope council makes the effort now to find the best people it can to replace them.