Ten employees were hired in Luzerne County government last month in addition to Operational Services Division Head Tanis Manseau, according to the May personnel report posted on the county website last week by county Manager Robert Lawton.
Four employees are in court branches, where hiring decisions are made by court officials instead of Lawton and his administration: Adriana Vullo, judicial assistant, $30,000; Madeline Holguin and Amy Lasinski, magisterial secretaries, $24,202; and Kevin Stevenson, information technology specialist, $27,000.
Lawton told County Council members last week he requires proof budgeted funds are available to cover pay and benefits before he approves the filling of court vacancies.
That step is a sign of progress under home rule, he said.
“When I first came here, judges were in the habit of putting people on the payroll through a court order with no notice. That’s not happening anymore,” he said.
• County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, who selects applicants for positions in her row office and must undergo a similar budget review to fill vacancies, hired Samantha Kelly as an adult victim witness coordinator at $22,000, Lawton’s report said.
The remaining hires in other offices: Lori Holdredge, mental health case worker, $32,116; Stephen Geist, assistant indigent conflict counsel, $40,000; Matthew Harden, aging manager, $30,108; Donna Boyle, children and youth clerk, $21,267; and Matthew Calabro, criminal court records clerk, $23,000.
• Fred Rosencrans was promoted to 911 executive director at a salary of $60,000, a $6,425 increase from his position as 911 technical support/data manager, the report shows. Prison correctional officer Joseph Prushinski also was promoted to records sergeant, increasing his salary from $54,671 to $57,307.
• Former county election director Leonard Piazza announced through a social networking site last week he has accepted a position as election supervisor for DeKalb County, Georgia. “I’m ecstatic that I’ll be once again doing what I absolutely love — elections administration,” Piazza wrote.
Piazza has a pending suit against the county and Lawton over his termination, with a trial tentatively set for January 2015.
• Brian Reese has been hired as an information technology network administrator for $45,000, though the IT executive director position is still vacant, county Administrative Services Division Head David Parsnik told a council committee last week.
Reese will handle computer upgrades, network issues and employee requests for assistance, Parsnik said. The county’s outside recruitment company is reviewing the executive director applicants and soon will forward the two or three top candidates to Parsnik for interviews, he said.
• The county’s outside auditor will provide a progress report during Tuesday’s council budget/finance committee meeting regarding completion of the 2013 audit due June 30. The committee meetings start at 5:30 p.m. in the council meeting room at the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.
• Lawton said county Transportation Authority officials should reconsider his suggestion to issue bus passes for senior citizens that must be scanned when they board buses so drivers wouldn’t have to manually log elderly drivers. Two authority managers were charged last week for allegedly instructing drivers to inflate senior riders to increase government funding.