Staniszewski to start New Castle job this month

September 3, 2013
Matt Staniszewski

Washington City Councilman Matt Staniszewski is scheduled to begin his new job as New Castle’s economic development director later this month, meaning he’ll have to make a decision on his residency early next year.

New Castle Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo confirmed Staniszewski will start his “full-time, five-days-a-week” job on Sept. 16 and will be responsible for economic development, grant writing, code enforcement and zoning.

The job requires him to establish residency in the Lawrence County town within six months of starting the position, meaning he would not be permitted to serve in both New Castle and Washington at the same time without a waiver.

Staniszewski, 36, declined to comment on the new job or say if he would resign from his council position. He also would not comment on whether he will continue running for re-election as a Republican in the upcoming November election.

“Every council member, they all have full-time jobs as part of their private life, and I’m just trying to make a living,” Staniszewski said.

However, in an interview the day New Castle Council formally hired him, Staniszewski said he would “look at the options” in the town and was considering whether to “invest into some properties” there. New Castle is about 75 miles north of Washington and has a population of 23,273, according to the 2010 Census.

New Castle solicitor Jason Medure said the economic development director position requires Staniszewski to establish residency within six months, but he could ask for a delay of that timetable.

“He hasn’t asked for any type of special dispensation at this point,” Medure said. “We have no role to play nor any comment regarding his Washington position. But to take the job, he must establish residency within the City of New Castle within six months.”

That timetable would allow Staniszewski to stay on the November ballot, but he would almost certainly have to resign his seat early in the term if re-elected.

Washington Mayor Brenda Davis said the city’s own residency requirements wouldn’t allow Staniszewski to keep both jobs and commute.

“Mr. Staniszewski has a decision to make. Does he want to take the job up there or does he want to be a city councilman down here?” Davis said. “We have a residency requirement ourselves here in the city.”

Staniszewski was hired for the New Castle position on July 26 on a 3-2 vote by New Castle City Council. He will be paid a prorated portion of the $65,000 annual salary for the remainder of this year.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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