Springfield Twp. manager resigns
Residents crowd meeting for answers to sudden move
The Springfield Township Board of Supervisors faced a standing-room-only crowd Nov. 4 as it officially announced the resignation of township manager, zoning officer and right-to-know officer, Richard Schilling.
The board was unanimous in accepting the resignation and wishing Schilling well in his new position. Schilling was asked to leave his position on Monday, however he will be paid until the end of the month.
Many comments were made regarding Schilling's dedication and service to the township but none was quite so moving as Sandy Everitt’s.
"First of all I'm disappointed Rich isn't here,” she said. “I don't think the board realizes Rich's value to the township. Because of Rich's leadership we recouped $300,000 from PPL. He immersed himself in the budget, he was knowledgeable about municipal law and township codes and frequently prevented committees or staff members from taking action that could result in legal or ethical problems for the township.
“He was a good PR man, provided tremendous support and encouragement to township committees, commissions and organizations by attending most of their meetings and participating in almost every event they held.
“He was a hands-on manager. Rich was tough, but fair and ethical. A good manager is never everybody's friend but over time everyone respects him. Our loss is Bedminster township's gain."
Many in the crowd questioned the reasons for Schilling's resignation and said there was more going on than what they were being told.
A reporter asked if Schilling was asked not to attend the meeting. Solicitor Terry Clemons said the board did not anticipate the public interest in the meeting and Schilling was told his presence at the meeting was not required but was never told not to attend.
The second agenda item for the evening was discussion about an interim township manager to take over until a full-time permanent manager could be hired.
"It's a process that could take 3-six months or more." Chair Barbara Lindtner said. Clemons suggested the board hire David R. Nyman as an interim manager.
Nyman has extensive experience as an interim manager. He could start immediately and keep things running on track until a new manager can be hired.
The board was unanimous in its decision to hire Nyman and have the provisions for his hire drawn up by Clemons.
During public comment, Jim Nilsen, who sits on board of Upper Bucks Regional Emergency Medical Services, spoke of a mailing he received. He was referring to a letter sent and signed by supervisors John Oehler and Volker Oakey endorsing Lindtner for re-election. The letter included a copy of a letter of appreciation to the supervisors from Adam Maziuk, executive director of the Upper Bucks EMS Services.
"The IRS is black and white about political affiliation and nonprofits. The EMS is thankful to township but does not want to be involved in any political affiliation and needs to stay separate from that,” Nilsen said.
“It was a thank you note; not all of the board got to see the letter before parts got put out to the public. It doesn't pass the smell test." Nilsen said.
Hans Reimann questioned the fact that the letter was used in a political mailing before it was entered into public record. "I think there is some confusion about the EMS letter and want to know if the letter was made available to the public since it was a letter to the board of supervisors. When you accept correspondence it becomes part of the public record.
“I understand it was given to you, but excerpts from that letter became part of a campaign letter before it was entered into public record, I have a problem with that." Reimann said.
A request for a copy of the letter submitted to the township on Nov. 4 was denied because it has not been received by the township.
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