Dormont Borough Manager Gino Rizza has created a “hostile work environment that has destroyed labor relations and created an anti-employee atmosphere,” according to a no-confidence letter signed by virtually all full-time employees and presented to council Monday night.
Councilwoman Joan Hodson asked for Rizza’s resignation, saying she, too, had no confidence in him.
Besides Rizza, Ian McMeans, the assistant manager, was the only one of the borough’s 31 full-time employees not to sign the letter, which Mayor Thomas Lloyd read to council.
Employees “no longer have the confidence in Gino Rizza’s ability to lead and manage,” the letter said.
“His lack of leadership, experience and emotional instability has depleted the morale of all working groups to an all time low,” the letter said.
Rizza did not respond to the accusations at or after the meeting, but said he may may comment in a couple days. Aside from Hodson, other council members also had no comment.
Council met in executive session after the meeting, but again declined to say what they discussed.
In asking for Rizza’s resignation, Hodson said Rizza mistreats her and ignores her requests for information.
“I obviously can’t continue working with you. I’m not going to step down from council, but I’m not going to make it easy for you, either,” she told Rizza.
“Going forward, you better bet that I’m going to be checking, double-checking and double-double checking everything that you bring to council,” she said.
Hodson's call for Rizza's resignation was met with applause by most of the audience, which included just about all employees.
Several residents questioned Rizza's experience during the public comment section, but got no answers.
"I'd like to know as a resident, what type of borough managing does he bring to me?" Val Martino said.
"This man has done nothing since he's been in office other than try to get rid of everybody. He's shot down the morale of the police and the fire department," Martino said, cutting Councilman Drew Lehman off when he interrupted.
"Drew, you have to just shut your mouth when you're on council," Martino said.
The letter further continued that Rizza’s “misconduct and serious unprofessionalism would not be tolerated by any other employee of this municipality if they were acting in the same manner.
“We want to explicitly stress that we understand in these tough economic times hard decisions have to be made and no one wants the borough to be fiscally sound and stable more than the that of the employees, many of whom reside in this wonderful community, and depend upon their employment for their livelihoods.”
The letter said hard decisions can be made and accepted by all “through communication, trust and dialogue, none of which had taken place over the past 18 months, under Mr. Rizza’s direction.”
The letter was signed by all 13 police officers - including Phil Ross, who is out sick and was demoted to sergeant by council on Monday – the four desk officers/fire truck drivers, the five secretaries and building inspector, the public works crew and park manager.