Thursday, July 12, 2012
Commissioners on Wednesday approved a new contract for Doug Cleland, who had been working without a contract since December 2011.
Lower Merion commissioners, after more than six hours of debate Wednesday night, voted 8-5 to approve a two-year contract for Township Manager Doug Cleland. "I look upon this discussion as, how do we address excellence in Lower Merion?" Commissioner Rick Churchill told the board and residents gathered in the nearly full board room at the beginning of the human relations committee meeting. "Are we going to reward it, are we going to penalize it—what are we going to do?" Commissioner Dan Bernheim, who along with Churchill and Commissioner Scott Zelov formed an ad hoc committee to draw up Cleland's new contract, summed up the contract—to expire Jan. 6, 2014, when the new board will reorganize—and the process used to shape it. Cleland's base …
Monday, July 9, 2012
Doug Cleland's contract is up for a vote on Wednesday.
The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners at 6 p.m. Wednesday will consider a new two-year contract for township manager Doug Cleland, whose last contract expired in 2011. Cleland's contract was a topic of conversation at several board meetings earlier in the year, but they were all delayed amidst a debate about the legality and transparency of deferred compensation packages for township management employees. Under the terms of the currently proposed contract, his base salary would be about $202,000 this year and $207,000 next year; benefits would bring his total compensation to about $275,000 a year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. In recent emails to constituents, Commissioner Jenny Brown has called the proposed compensation "excessive…
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Doug Cleland's contract expired last year.
Action on Township Manager Doug Cleland’s proposed contract was again postponed at Wednesday night’s Lower Merion Board of Commissioners meeting. Cleland’s contract, which expired December 2011, was scheduled for a vote at 7:55 p.m. Wednesday. The meeting began at 8:40 with President Liz Rogan informing the packed room that the board would not be acting on the proposed contract. Changes will need to be made to the contract language, Rogan said, and she asked that anyone who came to speak to Cleland’s contract speak more generally on the topic because of the anticipated changes. Former Board President Joe Manko spoke on behalf of 11 former commissioners, including the most recent former board President Bruce Reed and former board Vice …
Thursday, April 5, 2012
As required, officials have allocated an unplanned $6.9 million.
The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners elected Wednesday night to allocate a recent $6.9 million business-tax windfall as suggested by the township manager, including using as much as necessary to prevent a property-tax increase in 2013. The money came in after court settlements in the fall, but because state laws restrict the amount of surplus in a municipality's general fund, it all needed to be allocated to specific purposes, commissioners had been told. The 12 members present Wednesday night voted unanimously for preventing a 2013 tax increase (the 2012 budget was tax-neutral also) and for further funding the township's capital improvement plan. Asked how much the zero-tax-hike initiative would cost, Township Manager Doug Cleland …
Thursday, March 22, 2012
About $6.9 million is in play.
Ahead of an April 4 meeting on what Lower Merion's government should do with a $6.9 million credit that can't just be left in the general fund, Township Manager Doug Cleland has made four suggestions. Cleland announced Thursday his recommendations to the township's Board of Commissioners: Cleland's announcement did not address the Manayunk Bridge trail renovation, for which the board pledged $250,000 at Wednesday night's meeting. Cleland said he was asking board members with other suggestions for the money to submit them by 10 a.m. Friday, March 30. The Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 4.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Commissioner Jenny Brown called for an independent investigation into the matter.
Lower Merion Commissioner Jenny Brown on Wednesday night called for a private investigation into Lower Merion Township’s deferred-compensation plan for township management employees. “I have received a lot—a lot—of inquiries about it,” Brown said during Wednesday evening’s finance committee meeting. “I will say that some of what I am about to say makes me absolutely heartsick.” The issue of deferred compensation was first raised at a Feb. 22 finance committee meeting by Brown, who along with Commissioner Lew Gould expressed concern they had never known the program existed. They also questioned the program's up-to-7 percent contribution by employees and 7 percent employer contribution, regardless of whether the employee defers any …
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The vote was delayed after disagreement over the way the matter was handled.
The discussion of Lower Merion Township Manager Doug Cleland’s contract was pushed from Wednesday night to March 6 after partisan disagreement and public disapproval of how and when the topic was communicated. On Wednesday morning, Commissioner Jenny Brown expressed her dismay over finding out the Board of Commissioners was slated to take action on Cleland’s contract that night. The Administrative and Human Resources agenda listed only a “personnel matter.” Brown sent an email to her constituents accusing board President Liz Rogan of violating the Sunshine Act in her lack of straightforwardness, which Rogan denied. The agenda item, which was scheduled for 7:55 p.m., just prior to the rest of the board meeting, was tabled by Commissioner …
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Doug Cleland's contract was described only as a "personnel matter" on a Lower Merion meeting agenda.
How and when Lower Merion commissioners learned they'd be discussing the future of Township Manager Doug Cleland's employment Wednesday night has sparked partisan disagreement that may delay action. Commissioner Jenny Brown accused Board of Commissioners President Liz Rogan of violating the Sunshine Act, which Rogan denies, in regard to an item on the Administrative and Human Resources Committee's agenda for 7:55 p.m. Wednesday. The agenda available on the township’s website says only: “The Board will discuss a personnel matter.” Rogan emailed township commissioners Wednesday morning—Brown forwarded the email to her constituent mailing list—to elaborate that the "personnel" in question was Cleland, who has worked without a contract since …
The committee meeting is scheduled for 7:55 p.m. Wednesday.
Township Manager Doug Cleland’s contract is set to be discussed at the Lower Merion Township Administrative & Human Resources Committee meeting just prior to the Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday evening, Board of Commissioners President Liz Rogan told Patch. The agenda available on the township’s website says: “The Board will discuss a personnel matter.” Cleland has been working without a contract since the end of 2011. Cleland’s total salary, including deferred compensation and a longevity bonus, is $224,449 per year. Check back for updates on this story.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Christine Knorr stepped down on Tuesday after serving the township for 15 years.
Facing termination for abusing sick time, veteran Lower Merion Police Officer Christine Knorr resigned from the department Tuesday morning. According to Lower Merion FOP Lodge 28 president Sgt. Gavin Goschinski—who advised Knorr throughout the month-long conflict—the township planned to terminate her based on "integrity issues" related to the reporting of sick time and technical violations of its sick use and leave policy. Township manager Doug Cleland declined to comment, saying, "It’s a personnel matter, and we don’t comment on personnel matters, including this one." But in a conversation with Patch, Goschinski characterized Knorr’s absences as justified and was critical of the township’s handling of the affair. "I think the [threat of] …