Salamone has been working privately on a transition plan. But he is troubled, his supporters say, by an ordinance proposed by the Democratic- controlled Borough Council that would grant the council oversight over hiring and contracts.
The proposed ordinance has disrupted Salamone's plans, his supporters say, leaving him confused about which powers he will have when he takes office.
"Jack doesn't know what booby trap the council will set for him next," said his closest adviser, former Borough Solicitor Paul C. Vangrossi. "He's going to make his decisions later on."
The vote on the ordinance is set for Tuesday. Until then, Salamone is drawing up tentative plans for appointments, at least one of which is certain to meet opposition from the Borough Council.
Vangrossi, who served for 16 years under two previous Norristown mayors, is Salamone's pick for the solicitor's job. Democratic Councilwoman April Young, co-manager of DeAngelis' mayoral campaign, has vowed to block Vangrossi's appointment.
Vangrossi also has been at loggerheads with a leader in Salamone's camp, Michael Kirkpatrick, a past president of the Fraternal Order of Police, whose members are counting on Salamone to make changes in the Police Department.
In 1990, Vangrossi wrote letters to the FBI, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and the borough police chief alleging that Kirkpatrick had threatened to harm him, according to an article published at the time in the Norristown Times Herald. In the article, Kirkpatrick and Vangrossi acknowledged that they had been at odds for years, often on opposite sides of the bargaining table during police contract negotiations.
No legal action against Kirkpatrick resulted from Vangrossi's complaint. Kirkpatrick said recently that the incident was forgotten and would not harm FOP relations with Salamone should Vangrossi be named borough solicitor. ''That won't get in our way," said Kirkpatrick.
Despite Salamone's support, Vangrossi has hedged when asked whether he wanted the job, asserting that he will always advise Salamone, formally or informally.
For public safety director, Salamone wants Michael Brandon, 41, a former Norristown police officer turned minister, to oversee 140 of the borough's 203 employees.
Brandon, who will graduate in the spring from the Bible Baptist School of Theology in West Chester, also has hesitated when asked whether he would take the job directing the borough's Police Department and code enforcement employees. "With all that's going on, it's a little premature to talk about it," Brandon said.
Many current department heads can keep their jobs, Salamone said. He has endorsed Joseph Charlton, the borough manager whom DeAngelis hired in the summer.
Two other top officials, Finance Director Anthony Biondi and acting Public Works Director Joseph Picard, can rest secure, said Brandon, who directed Salamone's campaign. Both are longtime Norristown residents who have come up through the ranks - the type Salamone has said should be recruited for top borough jobs. "They fit the mold of the type of borough department head we need," said Brandon.
Most other borough employees are protected by union contracts during political transitions, said Picard, a former shop steward for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Borough workers are organized under three unions: AFSCME, Laborers' International Local 135 and the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Only one contract expires this month, that of supervisors belonging to AFSCME. That group includes DeAngelis appointee Charles Sweeney, the borough fire marshal and a supervisor in the Code Enforcement Department.
DeAngelis said the supervisors' contracts would be settled before Salamone took office.