Monday, April 11, 2016

Gestrich Departs Lower Providence

After a four-year tenure in the Township, current manager Richard Gestrich has parted ways with Lower Providence. 

photo credit: LinkedIn
Board of Supervisors' chairman Jason Sorgini confirmed over the weekend that Gestrich's last day was Friday, April 8, and that 'the Board and Rich mutually agreed that our visions for the township had become disparate and that a new direction was in order. The assistant manager [Geri Golas] will be in charge as we begin a thoughtful and comprehensive process to hire a new manager."

Gestrich was hired in 2012 shortly after supervisors Sorgini and Jill Zimmerman won the 2011 supervisor's election and after being interviewed by a search committee that included both. 

He was known to be good friends with former LP supervisor Rick Brown, who was chairman at the time Gestrich was hired. The two allegedly had vacation homes near each other in Florida. (Brown's ideology was primarily that LP was a 'bedroom community'; he tended to have an unfavorable view of new business and development, and I presume his hiring decisions reflected that). The Township has been trying to get the message out that they are 'open for business' (again, supposition on my part) so perhaps this is the direction they did not share. 

Gestrich had previously served as township manager in Upper Makefield Township and Middletown Township (both in Bucks County) and for two towns in Florida.  At a starting salary in 2012 of $105,000, he signed an at-will employment contract with LPT that was not time limited. At the time, Gestrich noted that the agreement included a severance package consisting of one month's pay for the first six months, three months' pay after the first year, and six months' pay after the third year of employment.  

Gestrich succeeded township manager Joe Dunbar, who was dismissed in 2011 after 7 years with Lower Providence.