Supervisors name new Kennett Township manager
● By Richard Gaw
As part of several measures taken to restore normalcy in a township rocked by an investigation into possible fraud, the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors officially hired Eden Ratliff as the township's new manager, at their Aug. 21 meeting.
Ratliff will take over for interim township manager Alison Rudolf, who was hired by the township soon after its bank officials discovered suspicious transactions in the township's bank accounts in late April, which led to the dismissal of former township manager Lisa Moore in May. Currently, the matter is being investigated by the Chester County District Attorney's Office, and an independent forensic auditing firm the township has hired.
Ratliff, who was selected from a field of 33 applicants, will begin his new position on Sept. 23.
For the past three years, Ratliff has served as borough manager and chief administrative official of the Borough of Greencastle in Franklin County, Pa., where his duties have included creating and administering municipal operating budgets; developing a strategic vision for the borough; implementing a comprehensive asset management program for utility operations; and serving as chief administrative official, code enforcement officers and treasurer for the borough.
A native of West Chester, Ratliff also previously served for two years as borough manager and chief administrative official for the Borough of Ford City near Pittsburgh. At Ford City, he managed long-term contracts, created and administered annual municipal budgets and negotiated a collective bargaining agreement.
“We wanted a township manager possessing the skills and educational background to effectively and efficiently manage Kennett Township, as well as an individual with the foresight to lead the township forward for many years,” Board Chairman Scudder Stevens told those at the meeting. “I believe you will be pleased by his credentials, skills, and all that he will bring to Kennett Township in the years to come.”
“I am just thrilled that he is coming,” said supervisor Whitney Hoffman. “We are very lucky to have someone with so much experience. He's got a very good forward communication style, and we're always working on trying to make sure that everyone knows as much as possible, and his skill will help make that possible.”
Stevens said that a thorough background check on Ratliff was conducted by a former chief of police.
In an address to the audience, Ratliff said the more he and his wife Gabby (who was also raised in Chester County) come back to the area to visit their families “it becomes more and more apparent what a wonderful place this is to live, work and raise a family, and that's exactly what we intend to do here in Kennett Township.”
When Ratliff was first appointed to his position in Ford City, a veteran road master approached him.
“He said, 'Eden, welcome to Ford City. I understand you have a lot of education, and that's very nice, but you don't know anything about the streets of Ford City. Maybe we can work together and teach each other something,' and that's exactly what happened,” he said.
Ratliff said that his current role at the Borough of Greencastle is “inherently designed to be proactive,” and that it comes with what he called “an uncompromising focus on being accessible and open, and allowing for intelligent citizen participation.
“I love going to work, because I love what I do,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to be in a position to make a difference in people's lives, and to try to make them a little bit better. As a municipal manager, that is what I do every day, and I want to do it in a place that I feel like I can call my home – Kennett Township.
“Municipal management is personal to me, and I will work hard to bring my experiences, my education and my unwavering desire to serve Kennett Township,” he added. “I am looking forward to getting started. I'm anxious to learn about your priorities, areas you want me to focus and the concerns that you have. Together, we can generate positive outcomes for the community. Together, we can make great things happen in Kennett Township.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.