Nancy Freenock is looking forward to being the next Warren City Manager.
She has nothing but good things to say about the city, and believes she can help the city provide better service to its customers - the citizens.
Freenock, then Clarion Borough manager, had visited Warren during a gathering of borough and city managers from northwestern Pennsylvania.
‘...My belief is that the city administration is a service industry, and that we work for the residents of Warren.’
Her first impressions were based on aesthetics. "This is really a very pretty place," Freenock said.
"Then I saw the advertisement (for a city manager) in the Pennsylvania League of Cities," she said.
After a little closer look, she had a deeper positive impression.
"I was enchanted. I thought it was a wonderful community," Freenock said. "You can tell that the people that live there care about their community."
She said the people were "warm and caring" and "everyone has been welcoming."
"So much of Western Pennsylvania has become so depressed," she said. "I walked into Warren and it was this vibrant town."
In her contract with the city, Freenock must live in Warren within six months of start of work.
"I already have an apartment," she said.
She is hesitant to commit to whether or not her family will accompany her in moving to Warren.
"I can't really answer that," she said. "I have a daughter that's entering tenth grade. She would rather not move."
Freenock, who will assume her new post on Monday, Aug. 20, comes to Warren after six years with Clarion.
When Freenock started in Clarion, the borough was in financial trouble.
"They were in bad financial shape," she said. "We had to take a tax anticipation loan. We entered the early intervention program."
It took time and working closely with state agencies, but "Clarion is in good financial shape now," Freenock said. "That's something that I'm very proud of."
When her contract as borough manager was not renewed, three members of that council, including the mayor, walked out of the meeting.
Freenock said she is not at liberty to discuss the details of the end of her employment in Clarion.
Warren is larger than Clarion - in population, area, staff and budget.
After the last census, Clarion had fewer than 6,000 residents. Warren has a population of 9,710. "Clarion had 19 full-time staff whereas Warren has 70," Freenock said. Clarion's budget is about $2 million and Warren's is about $8 million.
"The experience that I gained in Clarion is only going to help me," Freenock said.
"I don't have a to-do list," she said. "I don't want to come in and reinvent the wheel." However, she expects city council and the city staff to have plenty of things for her to do.
"The first thing I want to do is get to know the staff and the residents of the town," Freenock said.
"I think if we build partnerships, we'll all be successful," she said. "To that end, she plans to "get to know the (county) commissioners and the state representative to see how we can work together not just for Warren but for the entire community."
"I am absolutely looking forward to working for and with the city of Warren," Freenock said. "My belief is that the city administration is a service industry, and that we work for the residents of Warren. They're our customers."
Her goal is to "keep Warren growing - keep it vibrant."