Changes at the top for HCA
HAZLETON — A pair of city authority administrators have new titles and responsibilities under an organizational chart that was recently ratified by the board of directors, the authority board chairman said.
Board members in late October approved the revised organizational charts that contain new titles for top administrators Randy Cahalan and Richard Ammon.
Cahalan, a longtime HCA administrator who most recently served as executive director, will serve as director of operations and filtration.
Ammon, a former authority board member who was promoted to a deputy director post about two years ago, will serve as director of administration for the water and industrial divisions.
The new titles are listed on in organizational charts that the authority board approved for administrative staff and employees in the filtration plant, distribution system and meter department/front office. The charts show how each department is structured and which employees are responsible for each facet of operations.
While the chart lists new titles for the top administrators, salaries remain the same, authority board Chairman Phil Andras said.
The titles for Cahalan and Ammon reflect a change in responsibilities, Andras said.
Cahalan will work specifically on aspects of the water distribution system and has been spending more of his time at the filtration plant, Andras said.
Ammon, meanwhile, will handle more administrative responsibilities, according to Andras.
“Randy is really the water guy,” Andras explained. “He is spending more of his time over at the plant and on the filtration side. As for the administrator, Dick is more certified on that end. He is going to do more of the work administratively. It just is really a change in work duties — not much else.”
The chart lists oversight responsibilities for each department. On the administrative side, for example, employees who work in the filtration plant, distribution department, meter department and office report to supervisors or managers who then report to either head of engineering John Synoski or head of finance Larry Patton.
The chart reflects less supervisory duties for both Synoski and Patton so they can focus more on engineering and business operations, Andras said.
In turn, Synoski and Patton report to Cahalan and Ammon. All of those officials ultimately report to the board of directors, the chart states.
Cahalan and Ammon, however, apparently have equal authority in terms of hierarchy, as they are listed laterally on the chart, directly beneath the board of directors.
As deputy director, Ammon reported to Cahalan.
Andras said Tuesday that officials have job descriptions to go along with the new titles, but emphasized that the changes were made to reflect workloads.
“There are job descriptions,” Andras said. “We have them and seen them. I don’t know whether they’ve been published.”
Cahalan said the changes reflect how management has been operating.
“We were kind of doing that now, anyway,” he explained. “Richard was handling more of the office responsibilities and meter department. I’ve been handling more of the operations. It’s kind of the way it’s been for a while.”
In an unrelated development, the authority board voted recently to advertise a plant operator position. Cahalan said the position opened when a person who previously served as plant operator bid on an office position. The plant operator position subsequently opened and was posted, but not filled, he said.
HCA’s water department oversees the water distribution system that serves Hazleton and several communities in parts of Luzerne, Schuylkill and Carbon counties. Its industrial division contracts with a private firm that handles garbage collections in Hazleton.