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Council Re-Hires Duquesne Manager

Former administrator eager to come back to city, officials say; new DPW head also named

By Tom Leturgey
The Tube City Almanac
October 04, 2023
Posted in: Duquesne News

Mary Louis Bittner joked with Duquesne Solicitor Myron Sainovich that this is her “fourth” swing at serving as “interim city manager” for the city.

At its Oct. 3 meeting, city council voted 4-0 (with Councilman Tim Caldwell absent) to appoint Bittner to the post after accepting Samuel Sulkosky’s resignation.

She will remain on the job until Oct. 23, when Douglas Sample is re-hired back with the city.

Currently the borough manager for Crafton, Sample worked as Duquesne City Manager just a few years ago. In 2020, Sample “wore two hats” for Duquesne, serving as city manager and part-time public works director. City Councilwoman Elaine Washington said she led the effort to get Sample back and worked to secure his services.

According to his LinkedIn page, Sample has held similar positions in Ross and Bellevue as well.

Sulkosky, was appointed to the position in June after replacing Scott Crawford, who was hired in December last year, replacing Kelly Robertson. Bittner has filled in for various terms along the way. Sulkosky resigned Sept. 22 and Bittner took over Sept. 25.

The “rotating door” isn’t a good look for the city, officials said, especially with the municipality emerging from Act 47 oversight, but Councilman Derek Artim said Sample “wants to be here” and “this is a step in the right direction.”

Officials said that Sulkosky was driving an hour and a half to work every day in Duquesne and was hired to take a similar post in Punxsutawney, and that Sample reportedly was interested in returning.

Bittner noted that Sample could start before Oct. 23 if he can leave his current job. “He is anxious to get here,” she said.

Mayor R. Scott Adams introduced Steve Arbasak as the city’s new public works director, replacing Mike Kurta.

In related news, the City of Duquesne’s October governmental workshop meeting is moved to Oct. 24 because of Halloween, and the next general council meeting will be Nov. 14, to avoid election day.

In her public works report, Councilwoman Elaine Washington noted that employees will work to clear some of the vegetation from 113 S. Fifth St. and 110 Hazel St. because “they are pretty bad.”

A letter will be sent to the property owner of 117 S. Seventh St. because conditions there are “really bad,” she said, and the home is occupied, so workers can’t make the area safer for other residents.

Originally published October 04, 2023.

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