Thursday, January 17, 2008

DiGirolomo fired

In today's Phoenix.

DiGirolomo fired


By by G.E. Lawrence, Special to The Phoenix

Staff photo by Barry Taglieber

Borough council voted Tuesday to fire Borough Manager Anthony DiGirolomo.

PHOENIXVILLE — Borough council gave written notice to Anthony C. DiGirolomo that his tenure as borough manager will end in 30 days. The action came at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday evening, at the close of council’s regular monthly business meeting.

A resolution reported out of an end-of-meeting executive session by Mike Handwerk, D-Middle, agreed “to provide Borough Manager Anthony C. DiGirolomo written notice of council’s intent to terminate his contractual agreement with the borough.”

The resolution passed by a vote of 5-3, with council President Henry Wagner, D-Middle, Kendrick Buckwalter,R-West, Jeff Senley,R-North, Mike Speck, D-East, and Handwerk voting for the resolution to terminate. However, Carlos Ciruelos, D-East, David Gill, D-West, and Rich Kirkner, D-North, voted against it.

Under the terms of DiGirolomo’s employment contract, council was required to provide him a 30-day notice if his employment were to be terminated. A formal written notice to that effect was delivered to him as the meeting ended, near midnight.

For the 30-day period “and effective immediately,” the resolution read, “Mr. DiGirolomo shall be placed on paid leave.”

The causes for his dismissal were not disclosed.

Most of DiGirolomo’s personal effects had been removed from his office prior to the meeting. Reached at his home Wednesday, DiGirolomo had no public comment on the matter.

But Wagner did, saying that “Anthony C. DiGirolomo was a talented borough manager who has contributed greatly to this community. I wish him all the best in whatever he pursues in the future.”

DiGirolomo had been appointed to the manager’s position in February 2006, selected from a field of four candidates. He came to the position following nearly three years as Director of Local Government Relations for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Harrisburg.

He had served as a Phoenixville council member representing Middle Ward from January 2000 to May 2003, and he also had served as council president from August 2000 to December 2001.

But his tenure as chief borough administrator was an embattled one, even in its early months. Perhaps the most publicly visible of problems were those surrounding his rocky relations with the Main Street-Community Development Corporation and its director, which led by May 2007 to the appointment of a council liaison to sort out issues of downtown revitalization between their respective offices. The effort failed.

While by December 2007 the CDC had reorganized its approach to the borough, DiGirolomo was among those proposing that the borough pull its support for the CDC.

Wagner said that council “will search for temporary help” to fill some of the manager’s responsibilities. He said also that council would “conduct a national search” for a permanent successor, although “we will actively encourage interest in the position locally.”;jsessionid=KL1NHPbf61kr3pynNmkd0h97HM8TJgHf7l2YnhvRTb9NVVMWXmxW!2060854463?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FPVN%2FHome&r21.content=%2FPVN%2FHome%2FTopStoryList_Story_1433914


Ed Jones said...

Realizing that the Borough Council who hired Anthony also has the right to fire him, I think the citizens of the Borough should be told of the reason behind the firing.

Knowing how my council representative voted does not tell me whether or not there was a good reason for his vote.

Anyone want to pull a "in the public good" string to get the reason?

Karen said...

I think you just did, Ed Jones!

Please don't expect an answer, though.

Council is not obligated to the public to divulge the reason for firing as the action is a personnel matter.

Council can and should reveal any settlement, pro or con, with regards to issues contained in DiGirolomo's contract because our tax dollars are involved.

I cite the public revelations on a settlement with a former police chief as a basis for my comments.

Keep in mind, however, the laws may have been changed since then.

Jeff Senley said...


The information you are requesting is private Executive Session material, and not able to be divulged. Unfortunately, we as members of Council are not at liberty to discuss the details in the interest of protecting the Borough.

Ed Jones said...

Jeff - So when Anthony goes shopping for his next job and informs his prospective employer that he was fired from his previous job, he and the Borough do not have to divulge this information to the prospective employer?

I hope he doesn't come to me for a job for I definitely want to know why he was fired. It may make a big difference in how I look at him as a suitable employee.
Employees are fired for many reasons: continually late, taking too many personal days off, sexual harassment, abusing status, pocketing money, etc. As a potential employer of a person, I WANT to know his/her background.

Anonymous said...

Prospective employers can perform various background checks on potential candidates, but the candidate can provide any reason for termination, and previous employers are not obligated (possibly prohibited) to provide details.

Anonymous said...

There has been an enormous improvement in Phoenixville since I moved here ten years ago. If Mr. DiGirolomo helped shape that effort, his termination is even more perplexing.

Anonymous said...

If Anthony DiGirolomo's secrets become known, he will not serve elected or appointed office...ever.