Shaler manager’s 27-year tenure was originally to be temporary position
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 | 6:12 PM
Tim Rogers initially accepted an interim Shaler Township manager position, with goals of improving the township’s finances and employee relations while the board of commissioners sought a permanent manager.
He has stayed with the township as manager and secretary for 27 years.
“My intentions were that I was only going to be here for a couple of years, and it just turned into a really nice position. And I decided to stay,” he said.
Rogers, 66, was no stranger to Shaler government – he had served as the commissioners’ president from 1981 to 1982, a board member from 1978 to 1982 and Civil Service Commission chairman from 1980 to 1992.
He described his current job as the “chief administrative officer, responsible for the day-to-day business activities of the township,” overseeing a staff of 65, including the police department. He collaborates with Judy Kording, assistant manager and finance and administration director, on the township’s annual budget.
During his tenure, the township has increased and decreased residents’ taxes each once.
The Hampton Shaler Water Authority, of which Rogers is chairman, formed in 2012 through the merger of Hampton Township Municipal Authority and Shaler Water Department, serving 26,000 customers in Hampton, Shaler, West Deer, Etna, Sharpsburg and parts of O’Hara.
“I admire the political risk that the elected officials took in doing this,” Rogers said. “We’ve been able to stabilize water rates. … We’ve only raised rates twice, in both cases less than 5%.”
In addition to partnering with Hampton to form the water authority, the Shaler-Hampton EMS launched in 2018.
“Ross Township houses all of our police intelligence, the police reports. Etna and Shaler work together on a number of stormwater and sanitary sewer-related projects,” Rogers noted. “So, we enjoy a good relationship with all of our neighboring municipalities. We’re pretty lucky that way.”
Following 2004’s Hurricane Ivan, Shaler and Etna received grants for construction and maintenance of a Shaler facility near the Route 8 Burger King that catches debris, such as trees, from getting caught in a sharp Pine Creek bend.
“The Township should be commended for working with Etna to have this facility constructed in their flood project and for their continued efforts to keep it clean. We have numerous other areas where stormwater runs from Shaler Township into Etna that we have partnered with to improve and keep clean,” said Mary Ellen Ramage, Etna manager.
“Tim’s number one concern is our residents. He always tries to find a way to resolve their concerns and often goes the extra effort to help them out,” longtime township employee Kording said.
“He is also open to suggestions and ideas from others regarding issues. This willingness to listen encourages employees to offer alternative ways to do things that may be more economical or time saving.”
The manager advises the board of commissioners on township affairs and project results.
“We are really lucky to have an elected board of commissioners that operates from a business standpoint very non-politically,” he said. “They allow me to have free opinion on any subject, and on the few occasions where they’ve overruled my recommendation, they were right.”
Rogers serves on numerous boards, including as vice president of Municipal Benefits Services, and as a member of Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (Alcosan) Municipal Advisory Committee, Alcosan Governance Committee and Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT).
He has deep ties to the 10.5-square-mile municipality, with its 28,600 population. He and his family rented the Glenshaw Public Library’s first floor until he was 10.
“And I lived next to the ball field, the railroad tracks and a creek. It was a great place to grow up.”
After relocating from the library, he moved to his current residence that he kept following his parents’ deaths. He shares the home with his wife, Kathy, and daughter, Julia, a La Roche University junior and Air Force ROTC member.
Rogers earned his law degree and a bachelor’s in political science and business administration from Duquesne University. He graduated from Shaler High School.
Prior to joining the township, he was corporate traffic and transportation manager for Contraves USA, an electronics manufacturer in the aviation, medical, defense manufacturing and telecommunications industries. Thereafter, he worked as the company’s general manager and assistant corporate counsel for its Boston division. Beforehand, he was a 12-year Steamfitters union member and chief negotiator for its local metal trades division.
Rogers said his job location and his colleagues’ “ethical view of local government,” have contributed to his career longevity.
Nonetheless, he is contemplating retiring within three years, believing that generational change is important in local government.
He admits that the decision won’t be easy.
“I love Shaler. The community’s been very good to me.”