Township Manager Kraynik Looks to be Leaving for Upper Merion; Final Deal Still in the Works

The whispering campaign about Township Manager David Kraynik’s future can stop with the announcement by Upper Merion Township late yesterday that Kraynik has accepted their “conditional offer” of the job as township manager there. If no hitches emerge, he would start work in his new position by January, 2013. He could be there in a transitional capacity before then.

“The Cheltenham Commissioners wish Mr. Kraynik the best of luck. We will be working with him and Township staff to provide for an effective and seamless transition,” Cheltenham Township Board President Art Haywood said in a press release Friday evening.

No plans were disclosed on the projected timetable for Kraynik’s departure or the transition process for moving beyond the Kraynik era. Widespread speculation is likely to dominate conversations at water coolers and vending machines until such plans are announced.

Assistant Township Manager Bryan Havir has held the number two position for more than 14 years. Before that, he was director of land planning and design at the Heritage Conservancy, community development coordinator for Eavesham Township (NJ), director of planning and zoning for Warwick Township, assistant planner for the Mercer County Planning Board (NJ), assistant site planner for the Montgomery County Planning Commission and zoning and code enforcement officer for South Whitehall Township.

The likelihood of Kraynik’s move has been common knowledge inside the Township Administration Building and, to some degree, among residents at large, for more than two weeks, with rumors swirling well before that. Kraynik reportedly notified the Board of Commissioners in executive session on May 2 and disclosed it to staff soon after.

According to the statement, the conditional offer will be finalized “once standard pre-employment screening is completed, a final contract is negotiated, and the Board formally votes to appoint Mr. Kraynik.” No word yet on a time frame for the official announcement. It could be a matter of weeks, according to one source.

Kraynik has been township manager in Cheltenham since January, 1992 and before that, he was assistant manager for three years and also held other positions. He has been a full-time employee of Cheltenham Township since May, 1981. He worked part-time in the public information office for about three years prior to that.

“I am honored and humbled with the prospect of being the next Upper Merion Township Manager. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30-plus years in Cheltenham. I look forward to the exciting professional opportunities that working in such a progressive and innovative community as Upper Merion will afford me,” said Kraynik in the Upper Merion statement.

In the release from the Cheltenham board, Kraynik added, “I will work very closely with the Cheltenham Board of Commissioners and township staff to ensure a smooth transition. Cheltenham is blessed to have an outstanding professional staff, and I fully expect them to handle any transition in a very effective manner.”

This story was updated Friday evening with the report on the press release of the Cheltenham Board of Commissioners.

Comments

  1. Olga McHugh says:

    “I am honored and humbled with the prospect of being the next Upper Merion Township Manager. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30-plus years in Cheltenham. I look forward to the exciting professional opportunities that working in such a progressive and innovative community as Upper Merion will afford me,” said Kraynik in the statement.

    WOW…Progressive – you mean like reducing greehhouse gases, recycling for the good of the environment, not inviting hundreds of cars into the community to park in garages?? Innovative…like a ‘pay as you throw” trash system, making intersections pedestrian friendly and crossable (no do not cross signs) and working with the residents and making use of their professional skills??

    And, let’s not forget the real “progressive” move to finally record (not until September) our township meetings with one camera, no live feed, no commitment to archiving the recordings or to a schedule for broadcasting the meetings. Mr. Kraynik cited liability issues for live broadcasts and for archiving the records on the township website.

    So, Mr. Kraynik will move to Upper Merion and NOW become a progressive and innovative manager for a community who is progressive and innovative….well, he has no practice in either areas – at least, the residents of Cheltenham haven’t seen it!

    Maybe Mr. Kraynik’s definition for both “progressive and innovative” is “status quo and stagnant.”

    Do we really have to wait until JANUARY for someone with the experience and talent that Mr. Havir possesses?

    • Diane Williams says:

      Having personally heard David Kraynik yelling and cursing at some staff on several occassions, his leaving is probably the best news ever for employees at every level. As for the commissioners, and as stated during a Commissioner’s meeeting, David Kraynik was the tail wagging the dog (commissioners being the dog). My opinion is David Kraynik did not manage Cheltenham Township well. David Kraynik did appear to be a bully dictator using intimidation attempts at will. Hopefully the perceived evil spell lifts from over the commissioners and they can see, think and perform in the best interest of Cheltenham Township residents.