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Administrator’s job and salary cut in half


Durham supervisors have cut the township’s administrator/secretary job and salary in half – and they did it without a public vote or even notifying residents.

Beginning March 1, the township office is scheduled to be open only four hours a day, from 8 a.m. until noon, according to Dani McClanahan, administrator/secretary.

The move was revealed at the supervisors’ meeting during public comment at the end of the February meeting.

McClanahan has held the administrative position since February 2017 when she was hired to replace Joe Kulick, former township manager.

Although the position’s duties remained the same, the title was downgraded at that time and McClanahan received a monthly stipend in lieu of the benefits Kulick had.

Although the personnel change has just come to light, it appears it has been in the works for some time. McClanahan was passed over for a raise in the 2020 budget although the road crew’s wages were increased by 3 percent, and her monthly stipend came to an end in December.

At the township’s reorganization meeting in January a motion to appoint her for the year at $25.97 per hour for eight hours a day was abruptly tabled, and not taken up again at either the regular January meeting or the February meeting

During the reorganization meeting McClanahan asked for the opportunity to discuss her position. It is unclear whether she was given that. She declined to comment on the matter.

Supervisor Bartley E. Millett, who conducted the February meeting in the absence of Kathleen Gentner, supervisor chairman, said the decision was “not set in stone.” Supervisor Richard Johnson remained silent.

Louis Bucci, former auditor chairman, who has criticized McClanahan’s handling of escrow accounts, said he thought all three supervisors should address the decision publicly. Bucci had in the past questioned some financial discrepancies and when the auditors were unable to resolve them the township hired an accounting firm to look into the books.

McClanhan in December said the firm had basically reported the finances were “in good shape with no significant errors or malfeasance identified.”

Supervisor Richard Johnson, the board’s treasurer who is charged with overseeing the township’s finances, at the time attributed the problem to a “check from last year that was not entered until February.”

Meanwhile, coming to McClanahan’s defense were both Stephen and Sharon Willey of the Durham Historical Society, who praised her for her skills and the work she has done with the society, Sharon Willey mentioned the fact that McClanahan had acquired several large government grants that will be used to restore the iconic Durham Grist Mill.

Stephen Willey warned, “People who have their salaries cut in half generally seek other employment.” He said he was not aware her job had been downgraded. “Where will you be able to find someone with the skills to do all that she did for half that pay?” he asked.

Sarah Snider of the township’s Environmental Advisory Council also offered words of praise for McClanahan.

During the regular business meeting, a public hearing was conducted for the review and approval of the addition of 89 acres to the township’s agricultural security area. The acreage is owned by the brothers of Supervisor Millett. He said he was not involved in the transaction and did not vote on the measure. The change was approved with little comment.

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