CECIL – Cecil Township supervisors hired a new public works director at its Monday meeting, but not without some controversy. William Bottorff, of Morgan, South Fayette Township, will fill the position later this month and will be paid an annual salary of $64,000. Township manager Don Gennuso previously had been serving as public works director.
Bottorff has 16 years of experience serving as the construction manager in Allegheny County’s department of maintenance, as well as 10 years working as a material specialist, according to Gennuso.
Some residents asked why Bottorff did not have to live within the township and questioned whether the board was making exceptions to township policy. Gennuso said living within the township is a requirement only for police officers and public works employees, but not for management positions.
Also at the meeting, supervisor Elizabeth Cowden called for the board to put aside its differences with Range Resources and have a meeting, either public or private, with company representatives.
Supervisors canceled a private meeting with Range Resources in June after the township’s insurance carrier warned them not to meet while lawsuits Range filed against the township’s oil and gas zoning ordinance were pending.
Some of the supervisors said they would not attend a private meeting under any circumstance, while others, like Cowden, were more flexible regarding the terms of a potential meeting. Gennuso said he will contact the township’s insurance carrier for advice.
Toni Zombeck, of Muse Volunteer Fire Department, said the township’s strained relationship with Range Resources also has hurt the fire department, which has not received the same funding that other departments have received from the company.
“By this going on – these lawsuits, this bickering, this arguing between the township and Range – it’s really hurt the fire departments,” she said. “Range refuses to deal with us because of the township lawsuits, and I can understand that, but still it’s hurting us.”
The department is in need of a new thermal imaging camera, and Zombeck said Range Resources would probably provide funding if it weren’t for the lawsuits.