After Coatesville residents twice cautioned Yeadon officials about Interim Borough Manager Paul Janssen's history with their city, Borough Council last week initiated a search for a permanent borough manager.Janssen has been serving as interim borough manager since January under a contract with Local Government Management Services LLC. Janssen was retained by council President Vivian Ford's administration to evaluate municipal operations and programs with an eye toward improving efficiency and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and policies.
Ford wanted to extend Janssen's term through 2009, contracting directly with HC Management Solutions. Janssen is vice president and CFO of HC Management.
The matter was tabled, however, after a contingent of Coatesville residents came forward at a June council meeting with information regarding Janssen's controversial past as a municipal manager in Coatesville and Norristown.
The group returned to a July council meeting, and Coatesville resident Pat Sellers urged council "to keep a close eye on finances, because shortly after Mr. Janssen left we were $7 million in the hole Janssen is very persuasive. He had a big vision, but it came at a hell of a cost."
Ford claimed the Coatesville group was acting on a "personal vendetta" against Janssen, rooted in a protracted and costly dispute over condemnation of the Saha family's farm for the purpose of building an 18-hole municipal golf course.
Ford noted Janssen never stole or committed a crime, and she said Yeadon "is in better shape" because of the work he's done.
"We appreciate the warning but I really don't think you should come anymore," Ford said to the Coatesville group.
But Councilman Isaac Dotson said, "It's to our credit to listen to live people who experienced a negative situation and have evidence to prove it.
"He is our interim borough manager. We have a right and will ask that we have a permanent borough manger."
Councilwoman Dolores Jones-Butler asked her colleagues to advertise for the position.
Janssen said the borough's contract with Local Government Management Services includes advice on the recruitment process and LGMS could be notified that council is ready to move forward.
Jones-Butler suggested council inform LGMS of its readiness to begin the search.
Council members Dotson, Jones-Butler, Jacquelynn Puriefoy-Brinkley, Jack Byrne and Florence McDonald voted to advertise for the post and notify LGMS; Ford and Terry McGirth were opposed.