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STEPHANIE MARTIN v. BOROUGH WILKINSBURG (08/23/89)

decided: August 23, 1989.

STEPHANIE MARTIN, APPELLANT,
v.
BOROUGH OF WILKINSBURG, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION, APPELLEE



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Allegheny County, Honorable Richard G. Zeleznik, Judge.

COUNSEL

David E. Johnson, Joseph J. Hinchliffe, Tarasi & Johnson, P.C., Pittsburgh, for appellant.

John F. Cambest, Dattilo, Barry, Fasulo & Cambest, Pittsburgh, and Stephen A. Zappala, Jr., Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Colins and McGinley, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge. Barry, J., did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mcginley

[ 128 Pa. Commw. Page 419]

Stephanie Martin (Martin) appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (trial court) denying her motion for Judgment N.O.V. We reverse in part and affirm in part.

Martin was appointed Borough Manager of the Borough of Wilkinsburg (Borough) on September 26, 1983, for a period of one year.*fn1 The May 18, 1984, meeting was a

[ 128 Pa. Commw. Page 420]

Special Meeting, convened specifically for the purpose of dismissing Martin. To avoid dismissal, she submitted a resignation, which set forth certain conditions concerning pay and benefits.*fn2 Her resignation was signed by seven councilmen,*fn3 and was presented at the Borough Council (Council) meeting of May 18, 1984.

At that meeting Council purported to adopt the following resolutions: 1) the resignation was read and put into the minutes; 2) Fernando F. Valadez was appointed Acting Borough Manager, subject to ratification at the June 11, 1984, meeting; and 3) Martin's resignation was accepted, subject to ratification at the June 11, 1984, meeting. The ratification of these resolutions at the June 11, 1984, meeting was necessary because the May 18, 1984, meeting was a Special Meeting, and notice of the meeting had not been given in strict accordance with the Open Meeting Law.*fn4

[ 128 Pa. Commw. Page 421]

At the June 11, 1984, meeting the following resolutions were adopted by Council: the actions of Mr. Valadez as Acting Borough Manager were ratified; Andrew L. Dent (Dent) was appointed as Acting Borough Manager; and the motion to accept Martin's resignation was tabled.

At the July 9, 1984, meeting of Council, the item accepting Martin's resignation and terms and conditions set forth in her letter of resignation were tabled. No further action was taken concerning the resignation until the November 12, 1984, meeting, at which Martin appeared. She stated her belief that Council had neither accepted her resignation nor terminated her appointment, and she requested that Council either permit her to carry out her duties as Borough Manager, or accept her resignation or terminate her appointment. Because the Solicitor was not present, Council ...


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