The public has a new opportunity to apply for several Luzerne County posts previously held by elected row officers, including sheriff and coroner.
The positions are up for grabs because home rule eliminated elected posts and gave the administration latitude to decide how the duties are covered. The county had been relying on existing staffers to perform the work since home rule’s implementation in January 2012.
The coroner and sheriff positions are advertised at starting salaries of $40,000 to $45,000.
The administration has opted to combine four other row office posts into two management positions — clerk of courts/prothonotary and recorder of deeds/register of wills — advertised at $45,000 to $50,000 each.
The first review of applicants is scheduled for Monday.
A bachelor’s degree and the following minimum qualifications and experience are specified, though the county retains the right to accept other combinations of education, training and on-the-job experience:
• Coroner: five to seven years of experience in a coroner’s office, including specialized training in investigative procedures.
• Sheriff: five years of experience in law enforcement, at least two in a supervisory capacity.
• Prothonotary/clerk of courts manager and recorder of deeds/register of wills manager: five years of administrative work experience in a judicial, legal or governmental organization, including two years as a manager or supervisor.
Pool of applicants
County Judicial Services and Records Division Head Joan Hoggarth, who oversees all four positions, said she recently received more than 30 applicants for two vacant clerk positions in her division and is hoping for a robust pool of qualified applicants for the management posts.
“I encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity,” Hoggarth said.
While some current employees are expected to apply, Hoggarth stressed all applicants will receive equal consideration through the selection process outlined in the personnel code.
Under this process, the human resources department handles the initial screening, determining which applicants meet minimum qualifications.
Human resources and the hiring manager — in this case Hoggarth — determine an objective examination that will be used to screen, rate and rank applicants. To the extent possible, the identity of applicants are shielded until the ranking is completed.
The human resources department then certifies a list of candidates with the highest rankings, and the hiring manager selects one of the three top-rated candidates. The county manager must confirm the final selection.
Information on these and other vacant positions is on the career opportunities section of the county website, www.luzernecounty.org. Other open positions include a 911 executive director, purchasing director, engineer, human services division head and budget and financial services division head.
County Chief Solicitor C. David Pedri said he has selected attorneys to fill three vacant assistant solicitor positions in the central law office that were recently publicly advertised: Anthony Ross, Shannon Crake and Jacqueline Musto Carroll, who previously served as county district attorney.
The solicitor positions, which pay $39,885, were filled through the hiring procedure, Pedri said. Two of the positions were created in the 2013 budget, and the third was open because of an employee transfer, he said.