Exeter Township webstock

Exeter Township supervisors on Monday voted to officially open the position of township manager. The vote came a week after they agreed not to renew current Manager John Granger’s contract.

Supervisor John Cusatis said later that Granger was given 30 days’ notice when the decision was made Jan. 7. Cusatis did not, when asked, specify a reason for Granger’s pending exit.

Granger has served the township for four years. His last day will be Feb. 2, and Township Secretary Michele Gilbert will serve as interim manager once he leaves.

The board approved using professional services to help manage the search for Granger’s replacement.

Residents have complained intensely about mismanagement and community distrust. Issues such as the costly litigation with JMH Inc., which ran the Reading Country Club, and the $93 million sale of the wastewater treatment plant, as well as the disbandment of Exeter’s emergency medical service, have combined to create overwhelming crowds at township meetings, which now require a larger venue.

In other business, the board voted 4-1 to take responsibility for legal fees in the defense of a former township supervisor who has been accused of criminal behavior. Supervisors, who under the Sunshine Act are not required to comment on ongoing litigation, did not name the former supervisor or provide further details. Supervisor Michelle P. Kircher voted no to the legal-fee support; she said she was just hearing about it now and did not have time to review the situation.

In other business, supervisors said they are working on setting up a town hall meeting to discuss three proposals for future plans at the Reading Country Club.

Also, the board talked about more transparency and dissemination of critical information to the public to regain community trust in light of recent events.

“This is something that will improve this year,” said Chairman David Speece Jr.

Officers sworn in

And during a packed swearing-in ceremony, township officials welcomed three new police officers to the force. Sworn in were Anthony Pendell, 27, a graduate of Montgomery County Community College, and Cody Davis, 24, a graduate of Kutztown University. Penn State grad Frank Santiago, 32, will be sworn in after completing his police academy work.

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