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Lower Swatara Township public works superintendent Wagner resigns after four years

By David Barr

davidbarr@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/18/17

Lower Swatara Township’s public works superintendent has resigned.

Daniel Wagner informed the township Wednesday, Sept. 13, that he will step down effective Monday, Oct. 2. Wagner had been …

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Lower Swatara Township public works superintendent Wagner resigns after four years

lower swatara township building
lower swatara township building
Posted

Lower Swatara Township’s public works superintendent has resigned.

Daniel Wagner informed the township Wednesday, Sept. 13, that he will step down effective Monday, Oct. 2. Wagner had been with the township for the past 16 years, the last four as public works superintendent.

That leaves another key position in the township open. Frank Lynch is the interim township manager following the departure of Frank Williamson this summer; Williamson served three months in that position. Scott Young is the interim police chief, as the township has not filled the public safety director position that Williamson departed in the spring to become township manager. Williamson served as public safety director/assistant township manager from August 2016 until his promotion in May to township manager. The township will not fill the assistant township manager position, according to Board President Jon Wilt.

Williamson was the fourth full-time township manager since Ron Paul retired after 16 years in the position in October 2011. 

Worked his way up

Prior to his arrival, Wagner worked at AMP Inc., now Tyco Electronics, as a machinist, but since he’s a self-described outdoors person who enjoys working with his hands, Wagner, 37, said he thought it was “maybe not the best fit for me” and applied for an opening in the Lower Swatara Township’s public works department, saying he “wanted to be a part of that team.”

Wagner began with the township’s public works department in January 2002 as a general laborer, mowing grass and digging ditches. He kept moving up the ladder, rising to equipment operator and street sweeper, before finally ascending to the superintendent position in 2013, following the departure of Steve Anderson. The Lower Swatara Township budget lists the salary for the position at $64,092.

As the public works superintendent, Wagner oversaw the relationship between the department and the municipal authority and was responsible for 12 employees between the two divisions. According to the township website, the municipal authority “acquires, constructs, improves and equips the sewer system and sewer-related facilities for public purposes and leases the sewer system to the Lower Swatara Township.”

In addition, Wagner established the department budget, and was responsible for approximately 50 miles of road in the township, which involves snow removal, leaf collection, patching and paving, shoulder maintenance and repair, street sweeping, sign replacement, traffic lights, line painting, storm sewers, and seven recreational facilities and baseball fields.

Pride in morale

Spending nearly 16 years with the township, four in a high-level position, Wagner said he took pride in bringing structure to the department and seeing the morale improve during his tenure. He also believes that the services to the public have not only increased, but have become more efficient.

“I feel I’m leaving the department better than when I first came,” Wagner said.

Lester Lanman, the municipal authority manager and the assistant superintendent of public works, will take over his role on an interim basis. Wagner declined to reveal his plans after leaving the township.

“I’ll miss the staff here. I’ll miss working with the residents and trying to make the township better,” Wagner said.

Lynch has been interim manager since early August. While he was only around for a few weeks prior to Wagner’s announcement, Lynch noted that Wagner was a take-charge leader who wasn’t afraid to get out in the field and run the equipment himself on various projects. He added that Wagner brought a lot of energy and know-how to the position.

“He’ll be missed,” Lynch said.

Wilt said on Wednesday, Sept. 13, that Wagner’s announcement was news to him and the rest of the board and that they would be “looking at stuff this week,” but the board had no plans to meet prior to the Sept. 20 legislative meeting to discuss Wagner’s announcement.

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