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Hatboro Borough Manager Resigns

Steven Plaugher cites an hour-long commute as the reason behind his decision to leave his $80,000 a year post after only a year.

Hatboro Borough Manager Steven Plaugher, during an executive session Monday night, resigned his post with a week’s notice and no other job lined up.

“I would like to find something closer to my home in Downingtown,” Plaugher wrote in an e-mail to Patch. “The one-hour commute each way from Downingtown to Hatboro made for very long days and nights.”

Plaugher, who retired from the Downingtown Police Department after 30 years, served as Downingtown’s assistant borough manager for two and a half years before budgetary cuts had him seeking employment in Hatboro.

following the in March 2011 after less than a year; and an involving Bill McCauley, the interim manager following Ryan.

Plaugher inherited oversight of the long-overdue expansion project, an effort that, since its has been , as well as being followed. During a borough council meeting in May, the governing body grilled Plaugher about ongoing issues.

Plaugher, however, said his resignation was his decision alone and that he “learned a lot. Hopefully it will help to find me a new job.”

Borough Councilwoman Patty Fleming, the lone Democrat besides Mayor Norm Hawkes, said she was surprised about Plaugher's resignation.

“I walked in there totally not knowing that (Plaugher’s resignation) was happening last night,” Fleming said. 

Fleming said Public Works Superintendent Fred Zollers would serve as interim borough manager “for the time being.” She said that while Plaugher’s last work day is Friday, he is taking a week of vacation the following week. She said Zollers would likely begin serving in an interim capacity on July 16.

When reached for comment Tuesday Borough Councilman Mark Sheedy said that Plaugher’s replacement, or an interim manager, is “something that John Zygmont is going to make a decision on.”

“We have to get confirmation. We have to get an agreement and it hasn’t been done yet,” Sheedy said, adding that he did not know when the decision would be rendered. “John sets the time schedule for everything. Everything’s done on John’s timetable. John’s the president. John makes the final call. He sets the timetable for borough council.”

Patch was unsuccessful in reaching Zygmont for comment.

Sheedy chalked up Plaugher’s resignation to long commutes.

“I’ll take him at his word,” Sheedy said of Plaugher. “He said it was travel time.”

JHat July 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM
How about we look into hiring a manager like Ambler has? When they hired a new "city planner" in that neighboring town, they were able to turn Ambler 100% around from a ghetto to a fantastic dining, entertainment, and general walk-about small town. THAT is what we need someone to do in Hatboro. So far nobody has been able to do that!
another twinkie July 11, 2012 at 04:53 AM
If time sheets are public documents someone should get copies of the time sheets for certain boro employees. I wish i could get a 90 minute lunch hour. Must be eating lots of food.
Time for change July 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM
He quit he was not fired big difference. Marianne aka gerda wake up it is over you are not in control anymore and THAT IS A GOOD THING. Borough council now is controlled by 7 people not just one as it was under your reign.
Tori July 11, 2012 at 03:19 PM
JC Hatboro you ARE 100% CORRECT! Get these shysters outta office and hire a city planner did such as Ambler. I never witnessed such a decline of a town over the past ten years. If I performed the way the Council and other officials have at their jobs I would have been fired a lonnggggg time ago.
that's confusing July 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM
The Borough can't seem to be able to hold onto a Borough Manager no matter who is 'in charge.' Tommy Ryan left to go be the Township Manager in West Bradford, The Chief resigned the position because (even though he did a great job) he felt overwhelmed doing both positions. Whatever Plaugher's reasons are to resign without any prospects are his own, though it seems like a risky move in this economy to quit one job without having another set up. I think I remember there being around 45 applications/resumes submitted the last time this post was opened up and, hopefully, they can find an applicant who can help advance the Borough. Hatboro is hardly a 'ghetto.' Getting new businesses in here seems to be difficult because of a combination of high rent and questionable landlords in the business district. Name-calling and conspiracy theories don't help anyone, @True.
Boro Tom July 11, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Tori if you were a reporter you would be fired. Get your facts/information correct. Hatboro has a Main Street Manager & a Chamber of Commerce as you should know , especially if you've been watching things in Hatboro these past ten years. He is mostly independant of the Boro, not a Boro employee. Don't blame Hatboro's current council for these kind of things. The Shysters were booted out of office last year. Blame Main Steet for that continued mess, not the Boro. Main Street's program has been around for at least Ten years. If any Boro employee is abusing his office, then I agree they should be fired.
Tori July 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Boro Tom you are lucky I am not a reported because I wouldn't sugar coat anything and I would report the truth about the shysters running this town. And secondly what "facts" did I post? My post was merely an opinion that I am entitled to as a tax paying resident.
harry bigelow July 11, 2012 at 07:16 PM
That's confusing... If you have facts, put them out there. Or are you just another former Councilwoman sitting out there with multiple Patch identities making it look like there are numbers of people out there that believe any of this junk that you throw around so freely? There's a reason that the people in the main stream press call you people trolls... I would call you "sore losers". The election was held last year and your were thrown out on your keysters. Do you really think anyone believes any of your lies? Keep telling them to yourself and I guess you'll believe them, but I think that the people of Hatboro are a lot smarter than you are giving them credit for. Give us all a break. Stop dragging Hatboro through the mud with sloppy, nasty commentary and unfounded accusations. People told you last year that they were tired of it, but I guess you still haven't figured that out.
Walmart-y July 11, 2012 at 09:38 PM
The Mural Boyz need to get their search on for the next manager. Right after they figure out what to do about new pool murals and after they crack down on thugs who shoplift condoms.
that's confusing July 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Maybe if any meeting minutes since the election could get up and posted I could find some other way to keep track of what's going on at Borough Council (aka amuse myself)... I suppose I could submit an open records request for Plaugher's contract but I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume he was given an allowance to cover the cost of gas. It'd be interesting to know what made him quit, but I doubt it had to do completely with the commute. 'Harry Bigelow' - You said that in the last election some Council Members were 'thrown out on your keysters.' This sounds like you're gloating. I sincerely hope that you're not one of the sitting Council Members. I guess it wouldn't be out of character, though, given that the current Council wasted no time in their first meeting taking a low-class jab at the previous Council Members: http://horsham.patch.com/articles/hatboro-council-president-no-time-for-bickering I guess thanking them for their service would have been out of the question. In previous administrations out-going Council Members received plaques for their time in office.
Hatboro Hatter July 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. PS:Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. Now that's Confucius :-)
that's confusing July 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Hatboro Hatter, you're assuming I have something to avenge. Public figures are open to scrutiny and, in this case, our taxes help pay their salaries. The current council ran on transparency in our government - shouldn't they be able to step up and stand behind that? 'A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions' Also Confucius ;-)
Hatboro Hatter July 12, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I don't assume, cause you know what that would do to U and me☺. I certainly have to agree with the census cause you sound a lot like a sour grapes ex-public figure. Chamber of Commerce relocating, Buildings condemned over 60 years ago,Patch articles about no more bickering at Council meetings ( which there was a lot of with the previous plaque less :-( Council members) What does any of this have to do with the article above about Mr.Plaugher giving notice and reason for said notice? The issue of the current council running on transparency in our government, what have they not been transparent about???? I'd like to thank Mr.Plaugher for all he has done for our boro this past year and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
Dan July 12, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Why is that the now former borough manager lives in downingtown? The chief of police lives in ambler? The Main Street manager lives in Doylestown? Perhaps Hatboro would be in better shape and have a more desirable main street if it was run by residents of this great town.
that's confusing July 12, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I deleted a couple of posts so we might attempt to get back to the subject at hand. If I sound sour grapes it's simply because I find several of the elected officials at Council unsavory. IMHO three of them have no place sitting in public office. I was a volunteer for several events but never sat on Council. I suppose we'll all just have to sit back and wait to see who it is that Zygmont decides to hire - it's kind of clear from the article that he's calling all the shots, no? As far as transparency goes it's quite simple to go to the Boro website and not be able to view any minutes from meetings since the election. Relying on the Patch or other news outlets means missing some parts of meetings (this particular one also covered how a good number of residents affected by the flood will not be receiving aid).
Concerned in Horsham July 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM
It is truly a shame that Steve Plaugher has made the decision to leave. I worked with him directly on several difficult issues and can say that he will be missed. In a sea of craziness he was a very levelheaded and sensible point of contact in the Borough. On a side note....is Fred Zollars giving up his position in Public Works to manage the Borough, or is he doing both jobs at once. Just wondering because I don't think that worked out too well last time(Gardner/Becker debacle).
Stay in horsham July 13, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Was mr plaguer working for Horsham maybe that is why he left. He forgot where his paycheck came from and who he worked for. Maybe you should stay in Horsham and not worry about Hatboro.
Concerned in Horsham July 13, 2012 at 06:33 PM
We should all worry about Hatboro. It is a great town and just needs some good leadership. It would be nice for the Borough residents and the surrounding communities to see Hatboro thrive again.
Carol Inman July 15, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I'm with "Concerned". IF, as one poster suggested, a Boro staffer and buddies are ridiculing others on Patch, then that staff member and others spent considerable time under doing so under several pen names on no less than 3 articles during working hours last week. As a resident who cares about the quality of life in Hatboro, I object! I hope my high taxes are not going toward this kind of mud slinging, fear mongering, and pointless bickering -- something the current administration vowed to stop. Take a moment to follow what's been posted on Plaugher's resignation, the proposed feasibility study and problems with firehouse construction. Not only are these posters attacking what is assumed to be past Council members, there's swipes at CURRENT staff and Council members! How is that helpful? What kind of message does it send to residents? What kind of message does it send to potential investors in our town? I spent years in management. If my staff had pulled this kind of stunt under my watch, they would be front and center in my office first thing on Monday morning. And I'm telling you, their jobs would be on the line. Public officials, elected or paid, adhere to a higher standard or they are not worth OUR time and money. There's plenty of people looking for honest work in this town. It's time for respectful dialogue on Patch and elsewhere about the many difficult issues in Hatboro -- and for real leadership, from whatever corner, to step forward.
We would like to know July 15, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Carol Inman this is interesting, do you have proof, where are you getting your info from. this is important stuff that should be looked into. Who is doing this. I as a taxpayer would like to know. You are the second person saying this.
Hatboro Hatter July 15, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Actually she's like the third to level that accusation, depending on if you think that the two others are really just one or are..... Whatever I'm sure you get the point. The real issue is just unhappy Democrats slinging mud at a majority controlled Republican Council and jabbing at anybody that seems to side with them or defend them. It's sad really :-( . They talk about minutes from the meetings not being posted on the website since the election and they're right as a matter of fact I cant get minutes from off the site until Aug 22 of last year, there are links but they go no where. WOW imagine that it goes back further than the election but the poster chose to not mention that. I got an idea if they are so interested in transparency of government and knowing what's happening in the Boro hall go to a meeting. The meetings are a lot shorter then they use to be and orderly, they could be in and out in an hour to an hour and a half. I think that the supposed boro staffer thing is bogus just more attempts to stir up trouble and discredit the current administration. I'm with We would like to know, if you got the proof of these allegations are true step up and share it with the proper authorities.
We would like to know July 15, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I was thinking the same hatter. Thanks for the clarification. I wish she would come forward and say who it is or what they are supposed to be doing. I looked at a lot of these comments and a lot are on the weekend? probably just as you said. It is said to take cheap shots at people it just gets in the way of the betterment of Hatboro. The website says a new one is coming, can't wait to see what they say when the Borough gets a new site, they will probably complain about that too. At least we got a newsletter, very nice, alot of info, and good advertising for the community.
tummy bigger July 15, 2012 at 08:44 PM
What about the business day Facebook postings?
spit or swallow July 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
@Carol Inman. Does you management style include spitting on your employees?
We would like to know July 16, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Love my computer program that picks up ip addresses of posters tomorrow is going to be a good day.
FooKing Funny July 16, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Looks like one "inside" person with multi personalities and email accounts making posts and replying to same. Take note of time of postings and flurry of replies outside of Boro business hours. Get a life!
Sofa King Stupid July 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM
FooKing Funny - you say an 'inside' person with multiple personalities and email accounts- I didn't know Marianne still worked for the boro, I'm pretty sure she got kicked to the curb when she lost the election- just to clarify. When you start posting facts, like Marianne got voted out on a 2 to 1 vote ratio, then maybe we can talk.
Liberty 1 July 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Can't we all just get along?
Liberty 1 July 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Just kidding.
Mary Cummings July 20, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Hatter, people are unhappy about the minutes not being posted and it's not just the democrats. People are starting to pay attention to what is happening in our town and why things aren't moving forward. And quite frankly, it's because of this dialogue. People on this sight have major axes to grind. And those axes are from a small group of people who just can't seem to get along, or let things go. And I think that's how our government has been run for decades. Well, it's time for it to end. I am not sure who these people are, but I hope that none our our elected officials or staff members are on this site creating trouble, because they have a tremendous amount of power and responsibility. Why not use that for good? Maybe Boro Council should have town Hall meetings where people can have real conversations about real things that they care about. And then maybe we can move forward instead of walking around in these ridiculous circles of nonsense.

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