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Sharing of roadmaster's position causes rift among township officials

Published February 08. 2012 05:01PM

There was a bit of confusion over Penn Forest Township Supervisor and Chairman Paul Montemuro sharing the Roadmasters position with a Township Employee that led to a tie vote and dissension among members at the regular Penn Forest Supervisors meeting Monday night.

Montemuro was voted in last month as head Roadmaster with a salary budgeted at $4,000.

Montemuro told Supervisors last month that he wanted to split the position with key employee Keith Knappenberger who received commendation for his work at the meeting last month. In addition to the proposed split salary the Township would pay for Knappenberger to get the proper certifications and training necessary to do the job with the Township. Township Supervisors Alan Katz and Montemuro supported a motion to do this and Supervisors Christine Fazio and Warren R. Reiner opposed while Supervisor Judith M. Knappenberger abstained.

Fazio was vehemently opposed and shuttered Katz's tirade with Fazio telling him not to yell at her. Katz said he wasn't yelling but he wasn't short of cutting remarks to her when she challenged him later in the meeting. The motion, which wasn't on the agenda, died as some members of the public joined in keeping Montemuro as Roadmaster entirely saying the split vote meant the motion was moot.

In another obvious collision, Fazio challenged Katz about the amount of overtime paid to employees suggesting that hiring a part timer would be less expensive. The Township decided it would be less expensive to do the tax mailings and other tax related business allowed by law in house rather than pay out what the Township could do. Katz responded, "I'd rather pay for overtime than hire another part time person." Overtime is for plowing, he said.

A member of the public chimed in, "We didn't have that much snow."

Fazio said that she would be monitoring overtime.

Katz said Fazio wasn't good as an auditor. Katz was talking about the tax collector business and said, "Get up earlier and work harder…"

A member of the public said, "Pay your taxes." Three times.

In other business, a Penn Forest Fireman was seriously injured by falling off a ladder while responding to a fire in Indian Mountain Lakes. Katz requested the secretary to get an incident report and, "while you're at it, you might get the guy's training record." Apparently the roads were icy also and it was stated that Keith Knappenberger drove the new Township truck and iced the roads during the emergency. There was discussion over Fire Chief's and whether or not they had incident reports but later on the agenda it was noted under correspondence that indeed one had been received by the Township from PFT Vol. Co. 2 on the injury sustained by Firefighter Dave Vukovic earlier.

Also there was discussion about finances in the PFT Vol. Fire Co. 2 between Montemuro and Katz which remained unsettled and unanswered.

Nicole Troia designed the new Penn Forest Logo which depicts a deer and a bear stepping out from a pastoral setting, it says, Penn Forest Township, Carbon County, Pa. 1849.

Haines and Kibblehouse don't intend to blast in the near future and agreed to notify the Township if it intends to do so. Department of Environmental Protection, Ross Klock, advised the Township to tell residents to contact the DEP immediately if they experience any damage due to blasting for an investigation to follow.

Boy Scout Troop 555 will build shelves for the lower level Township Building with supervision.

A 200 mile race beginning in Lancaster and ending in Mt. Pocono will run through the township October 5 and 6. The Supervisors are concerned whether construction crews will have completed work on the bridge and roadways in time. Information will be forthcoming. The race information can be viewed online at The Official Charity of Ragnar Relay is BACK ON MY FEET, a non profit that helps the homeless, not with shelter or food, but by running to enhance strength and promote self esteem.

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