Lower Merion Board of Commissioners President Elizabeth Rogan will recommend to the full Board on Wednesday evening (Jan. 15) that Robert E. Duncan, longtime director of the Township’s Building & Planning Department, be named as the interim Acting Township Manager, effective the close of business on Friday, Jan. 31. Current Township Manager Douglas S. Cleland will be stepping down that day, after 11 years in his position and nearly 30 years of service to Lower Merion.
During a special Committee meeting called to take place before the monthly Board of Commissioners meeting, Rogan will also recommend that Chief Financial Officer Dean J. Dortone be named interim Acting Assistant Township Manager. Former Assistant Manager Pat Ryan retired in May 2013 after 27 years with the Township.
“With Doug Cleland retiring after an exemplary career serving our Township, it will be a difficult task to take over for him,” said Rogan. “Fortunately, in Bob and Dean, we have two proven, veteran leaders among our senior staff. Both interact often with the Commissioners in the course of their important daily work, but also in public, during weekly Committee and monthly Board meetings. I have every confidence that Bob will lead our excellent staff in the manner that our residents have come to expect during this period.”
President Rogan also stated that a national search for a new Township Manager is well underway, a process started soon after Cleland’s September announcement that he would retire.
Bob Duncan has been an important part of the Township organization since his arrival in 1980. As Director of Building & Planning, he also oversees Community Development and Economic Development. He was named the Township’s “Outstanding Senior Manager” in 1990, 1999 and 2006, and received the “Township Spirit” Award in 2013.
After serving as Assistant Finance Director for the Township from 1994 to 1996, Dean J. Dortone returned as Chief Financial Officer in 2002. Under his direction, Lower Merion Township has maintained its longstanding “double Triple-A” bond ratings from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, and the Finance Department has been the recipient of numerous national awards for excellence in financial reporting and annual budget presentation from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. He was named the Township’s “Outstanding Senior Manager” for 2005.