Facing the crowd

Point Marion Borough Council President Jason Ganoe addressed roughly two dozen attendees who crammed into council chambers for borough council's meeting last week. After attendees left and following a lengthy executive session to discuss the matter, council voted 4-1 to terminate the employment of borough employee Robert Eugene Grimm II. Ganoe cast the lone vote against the move.

Point Marion Borough Council terminated the employment of a borough worker who appeared to direct derogatory comments toward others on Facebook.

Council voted following an executive session to terminate the employment of Robert Eugene Grimm II, who served part-time as the borough’s code enforcement officer and water department employee.

Grimm’s account on May 28 posted several comments insulting and threatening borough residents, according to screenshots provided by several attendees at council’s June 4 meeting.

One of the comments was a vulgarity directed at borough resident Heidi Novak, who attended council’s meeting and asked council what it would do about the comments.

Several council members acknowledged the comments before voting to terminate the employment of Grimm, who was absent from the meeting.

“We apologize from a council standpoint,” council member Julia Casteel said. “We apologize for that behavior from one of our employees.”

“Those employees represent all of us,” council member Robert Wolfe said. “You know how I feel.”

Novak had tagged Casteel on Facebook in a thread containing the comments asking if the borough was paying Grimm to threaten and degrade people on the social media platform.

Council’s vote to terminate Grimm’s employment was 4-1, with Council President Jason Ganoe casting the lone vote against the move.

Ganoe said after the meeting that another borough code enforcement officer is currently on workman’s compensation and that how the borough would approach code enforcement going forward was to be determined.

In other business, the borough’s new solicitor, Doug Sholtis, introduced himself in his first meeting serving in that role for the borough, noting that he is also solicitor for Nicholson Township and a former Albert Gallatin Area school director. Sholtis succeeds Robert Eugene Grimm, father of the now former code enforcement officer and water department employee, as solicitor following the elder Grimm's recent resignation.

Borough council voted Casteel its vice president at the meeting and has two vacancies following the resignations of Lisa Martin and Marlene McHugh that it will look to fill at its next meeting on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.

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