North Franklin Township fires manager

April 13, 2013

North Franklin Township supervisors ousted township manager Bill Boucher at a special meeting Saturday morning.

Supervisors Jim Huff and Dennis Dydiw voted to terminate Boucher, who did not attend the meeting, but declined to comment on what may have led to his firing. Supervisor Silvio Passalacqua did not attend the meeting.

The 2-0 vote to eliminate Boucher, which drew criticism from residents, took place about 10:20 a.m., after the supervisors returned from a five-minute executive session.

“I hope you guys all can sleep tonight,” said resident Martha Ward immediately following the vote.

Boucher, reached by telephone following the meeting, said the move did not surprise him.

“It’s been a strained relationship with Jim Huff. That was pretty much the basis for a lot of the discord over the last month or so,” said Boucher, who previously served as a school district business manager. “We have basic differences on the township’s business. If you don’t have the underlying support of one of the supervisors, it’s pretty tough to do the job.”

Boucher and Huff have disagreed over several issues, including Huff’s stance that the township must stave off bankruptcy. Boucher maintains the township has a healthy surplus.

When resident Bob Sabot, who is a candidate for supervisor in the upcoming election, asked Huff if the township was in financial trouble, Huff said he would address the issue at Wednesday’s meeting.

Resident Frances Eates, who opposed Boucher’s firing, wanted to know who will assume the township manager responsibilities, but the board has not decided what to do with the position.

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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