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Chester County Press

Kennett Square borough manager to depart at the end of the month

11/03/2020 01:17PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough Council announced on Oct. 27 that borough manager Joseph Scalise will be leaving the position at the end of November to pursue a new opportunity. 
The announcement came almost six years to the day from when Scalise was named as the interim borough manager. Borough council decided to remove the interim tag in May of 2015, following a search during which they determined that Scalise was the best person to perform the duties.
Scalise has had a 26-year career with Kennett Square Borough, and has worked in a variety of roles. He took a summer job with Kennett Square in 1992. He served as the director of the public works department before being appointed as borough manager six years ago.
Council formally accepted the resignation on Monday night.
Council president Dr. Brenda Mercomes thanked Scalise for his dedication and hard work on behalf of the community. She said, “Joe has given his working life to the people of this community, and we are deeply grateful for his dedication and hard work at every level of borough operations. He made the borough a better place to live, from keeping the sewer plant operating as a teenager, to overseeing a model snow-plowing effort for multiple winters, to maintaining the community’s forward momentum during the COVID-19 crisis. We are honored to have served with him.”
During his time as borough manager, Scalise has led the efforts to upgrade the borough’s sewer facilities and expand the parking garage. Projects for both were recently completed. 
The borough has also steadily paid down previous debt, met its budget reserve goals, and instituted a recent bond refinancing that will save nearly $450,000 over the next year. These actions have positioned the borough to move forward on both shot-term and long-term strategic efforts.
Scalise expressed mixed emotions about moving on, writing to borough council that, “I am proud of the work that we’ve done and the position I leave the borough in.”
Council member Doug Doerfler, who chairs the borough’s Personnel Committee, agreed with the assessment that Scalise is leaving the borough in a very good position.
“Together, we’ve managed to keep the borough on solid footing at a time when many other boroughs are struggling,” Doerfler said. “Although we will miss his institutional knowledge, it’s a testament to Joe that he has established a foundation where the next manager will be in a position to move forward on new initiatives from day one. We wish Joe all the best, and thank him for all he’s done.”
Council member Ethan Cramer said that, because of Scalise’s work with borough council, Kennett Square is positioned well, and the borough manager position will be a desirable one once the national search is underway.
“Joe is leaving the borough in a much better position,” Cramer said. “There is a lot for him to be proud of.”
Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick said, “I’ve really enjoyed working with Joe over the past 11 years. He is a true professional who has served the borough well and he will be hard to replace.”
The press release from borough council said that the vacancy for the borough manager position will be officially posted on the borough’s website at

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