Changes at the top for HCA

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAM GALSKI STAFF WRITER

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.

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