(Tube City Almanac photo)
McKeesport's controller was appointed to the city's top administrative position on Wednesday night, while the man who was running to replace the controller has been elevated to that job on an interim basis.
Council voted 6-0 to name Tom Maglicco as city administrator, effective immediately. Councilwoman Fawn Walker-Montgomery was absent during the vote.
Maglicco replaces Matt Gergely, who resigned to take a position as assistant to the business manager in the McKeesport Area School District.
"Mr. Maglicco was on a very extremely short list" of replacements for Gergely, Mayor Mike Cherepko said. "It was very clear to me early on that he has a passion for making McKeesport a better place to live and work."
Cherepko said he also considered asking the city's department heads to consider shifting to the administrator's office, but decided their departments would be better served if their leaders stayed in place.
City controller is an elected position. To fill the remaining months in Maglicco's term, council voted 7-0 to appoint Ryan Sturgess as controller through the end of 2017.
Because Sturgess won the May Democratic primary for controller and no Republican candidate was filed, he is expected to win the Nov. 7 general election.
Both Sturgess and Maglicco were sworn into office by Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi on Thursday.
Maglicco, 46, is a graduate of McKeesport Area High School with degrees from Community College of Allegheny County and California University of Pennsylvania. Formerly executive director of the LaRosa Boys and Girls Club of McKeesport, for the past 10 years he has worked as an aide to state Rep. Mark Gergely of White Oak.
A veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves, Maglicco was on active duty for three years as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired from the reserves after 10 years as a sergeant. Maglicco has also served as a McKeesport Area School Board member.
He was appointed controller in September 2015 after the death of Harry Walsh.
In May's primary, Maglicco won a Democratic nomination for a seat on city council. Cherepko said he expects Maglicco to ask the Allegheny County Division of Elections to remove his name from the November ballot.
Maglicco said Thursday morning he intends to do so before the Aug. 14 deadline.
Sturgess, 40, is currently dean of students at Founders Hall Middle School. A graduate of McKeesport Area High School and Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., he has worked for McKeesport Area School District for 17 years and also serves as a board member of the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport He and his wife, Mindy, have three children.
While city administrator is a full-time position, controller is a part-time position. Sturgess said he expects to continue working for the school district.
Council also accepted the resignations of Maglicco as controller and Matt Gergely as city administrator.
Gergely, a childhood friend of Cherepko who has been city administrator for the entire six years of the mayor's term, read his resignation into the record at last night's meeting.
"It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Mike Cherepko," Gergely said. "I never met anyone who had such an absolute passion for the city as Mike."
The city administrator's salary is fixed at $71,820 per year, according to McKeesport's 2017 budget, while the controller's salary is $6,020 per year.
Originally published July 06, 2017.