Man­ager, po­lice chief get con­tracts

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

POTTSTOWN» Bor­ough Coun­cil made of­fi­cial Aug. 8 what many had been an­tic­i­pat­ing — con­tracts for two of the most im­por­tant posts in bor­ough gov­ern­ment.

Two-year con­tracts for In­terim Bor­ough Man­ager Justin Keller and In­terim Po­lice Chief Mick Markovich stripped the “in­terim” from their ti­tles.

After start­ing its meet­ing by go­ing into closed-door ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion to dis­cuss “per­son­nel,” coun­cil re­turned and an­nounced it would be adding two items to the end of the agenda.

Ac­cord­ing to So­lic­i­tor Charles D. Gar­ner Jr., the two con­tracts are al­most iden­ti­cal.

Both con­tracts ex­pire on Dec. 31, 2019. The salar­ies for both con­tracts are retroac­tive to the first of the year.

Keller will be paid $107,000 per year and Markovich will be paid $110,000 per year.

Be­cause Markovich has more years with the bor­ough, he will re­ceive five weeks va­ca­tion, while Keller gets three weeks.

Both get 12 sick days, as well as a bor­ough ve­hi­cle to drive and the same health ben­e­fits and pen­sion that ev­ery other bor­ough

man­ager gets, ac­cord­ing to Gar­ner.

Both con­tracts are re­new­able on an an­nual ba­sis, Gar­ner said.

Hired two years ago this month as as­sis­tant bor­ough man­ager, Keller be­came in­terim man­ager on Jan. 1, with the re­tire­ment of the man who hired him, for­mer bor­ough man­ager Mark Flan­ders.

Be­fore hir­ing him per­ma­nently, coun­cil al­tered the bor­ough man­ager or­di­nance, re­mov­ing the pro­vi­sion that re­quired Keller to live in the bor­ough. Although he pre­vi­ously lived in Pottstown, Keller now lives in Audubon.

While pleased to have the po­si­tion made per­ma­nent, Keller said he has been do­ing the job for sev­eral months and is now fo­cused on in­creas­ing rev­enues and try­ing to lower costs for next year’s bud­get.

That will be a tall or­der given that the mid-year ad­just­ments Keller re­ported to coun­cil last night mostly in­cluded cost in­creases.

Markovich re­places for­mer po­lice chief Rick Drumheller, who re­tired last month, 18 months ear­lier than he had pre­vi­ously planned.

Markovich’s ap­point­ment comes only a month after was named in­terim po­lice chief.

Markovich said be­com­ing a chief of po­lice had al­ways been one of his ca­reer goals, “I just didn’t think it would hap­pen so soon.”

“I’m ex­cited to lead this de­part­ment and to be of ser­vice to the bor­ough,” Markovich said. He said he hopes to “re­al­lo­cate some of the staff to the busier times, and to the down­town busi­ness district.”

Other plans, he said, he will share when they are ready to be an­nounced.

“I’m ex­cited to lead this de­part­ment and to be of ser­vice to the bor­ough.” — Mick Markovich, Pottstown po­lice chief

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Pottstown Bor­ough Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Dan We­and, cen­ter, with newly named Po­lice Chief Mick Markovich, left, and Bor­ough Man­ager Justin Keller.

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