Indiana Borough building

C. Michael Foote has resigned, three years after assuming the role of borough manager in Indiana.

“The Indiana Borough Council regrets to inform the people of Indiana Borough that our manager, C. Michael Foote, has submitted his resignation effective Sept. 17,” Council President Dr. Peter Broad wrote in a Facebook message to The Indiana Gazette.

“We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Foote confirmed his resignation, said he had no additional comment, and referred any further inquiry to Broad.

He has not told borough officials about his plans or his reasons for leaving.

Subsequently, Broad said in an email, “I met (Friday) with the (borough) department heads to review budget issues, and we will be starting a search for a new manager next week.”

Foote, 64, came to Indiana after a tenure as sustainability and solid waste manager for Reading, Berks County, in the spring of 2018.

He followed in the footsteps of Bradley Gotshall, who served for a year before leaving for a similar job in Millersville, Lancaster County, a town closer to his wife’s family.

Foote served about the same amount of time in Reading, after spending seven years in a similar post in Gillette, Wyo.

“A community defines what sustainability is for a community,” Foote said in 2018.

In May 2018, because he would have to make contributions to the Indiana municipal pension fund, something he didn’t do in Reading, council approved inching his annual salary from $72,000 to $75,000.

Meanwhile, he began crossing swords with leaders of the union local representing non-uniformed Indiana Borough employees.

Utility Workers Local 580 said they have gone more than a year and a half without a contract, during which the number of non-uniformed employees dropped from 33 to 23.

In July, Foote said, the borough and Local 580 held a contract negotiation session.

Local 580 Vice President Brenda Darr said there were differences over health care costs.

Another issue still on the table as Foote leaves is how Indiana should use $1,378,179.52 in American Rescue Plan funding.

Borough officials see the funds covering infrastructure needs.

Foote said the borough needs to make a commitment to projects that have to begin by 2024 and be completed by 2026.

Margaret Weaver has served as a Gazette staff writer since 2006. She covers Clymer Borough, the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District and Blairsville court, and also works in the areas of layout, design and editing.