First Posted: 5/7/2013
Luzerne County picked up 1,319 voters since the November 2012 general election, with an increase from 194,137 to 195,456, county election office statistics show.
The county’s Democratic voter registration increased 815, for a new total of 111,726. There are 64,118 registered Republicans, an increase of 176.
Independent and third-party voter registration went up 328 since November, for a new total of 19,612 voters.
This category includes 14,195 voters of no affiliation, 3,574 Independents, 921 Libertarians, 433 Green party and 104 non-partisans.
Other voters have registered under a variety of more than 60 other party names.
Some examples: Sir Fred the Cat, Willing to Help, Smuck, Rambler, Pirate Party of the United States, Jedi, Halloween, Good One, Good Neighbor, Everyday, Interesting, Not Sure and Decline to State.
* County Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, though the public session isn’t scheduled to start until 7:15 p.m. at the council meeting room in the county courthouse, Wilkes-Barre.
County Manager Robert Lawton’s nomination of Colorado resident Linda A. Coxen for judicial services and records division head is on Tuesday’s agenda for council confirmation.
Insiders say the council confirmation of Coxen is up in the air, in part because some citizens may question why a local applicant was not nominated.
* Lawton will present his first-quarter financial report during Tuesday’s meeting. He has promised to give council an understandable and in-depth view on how revenue and expenditures are performing under the 2013 budget.
* Council also will vote on Forty Fort’s request to use up to an acre at the county-owned recreation complex for a compost site.
* A vote to create a council Budget and Finance Committee also is listed on the agenda. Councilman Rick Morelli has repeatedly pushed for such a committee, saying more council discussion and scrutiny is needed on county finances. Morelli’s motion has failed in the past, in part because some council members said budgetary information should be presented to all 11 council members. Morelli said the committee meetings would be open to all council members and the public.
* A motion to revise the personnel code also is on Tuesday’s agenda. The home rule charter says employees must be lumped into one of three categories: career service, exempt service or civil service. The amendment says exempt service employees will consist of elected officials and those appointed or approved by council who have the authority and responsibility to make county government policy.
Council candidate Richard “Kick” Heffron, a charter drafter, told council members he does not believe they should vote on the change until they clearly explain the exemption that will apply to this category of workers. He said he wants to ensure future county administrations don’t use the exemption to prevent division heads or other employees from following merit hiring policies.
* Councilman Edward Brominski questioned the recent decision to honor Joe Gibbons with a cake and proclamation after his last council meeting as chief engineer before accepting another position outside the region. Brominski said county officials should not be selective and must honor all departing and retiring employees or none.