Saturday, July 26, 2014

Votes for County Council revealing

November 11. 2013 12:09AM

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Candidates were predicted to need at least 15,000 votes to obtain one of the five vacant Luzerne County Council seats last week, and winners’ votes ended up ranging from 17,226 to 18,980.

In the first 2011 council race under home rule, votes for the 11 winners ranged from 18,811 to 25,026.

More ballots were cast in the 2011 general — 66,517 compared to 49,344 last week — largely because six vacant county judicial seats attracted more voters in 2011.

• Voters could select up to five council candidates last week, and each instance they didn’t pick someone is recorded as an “under vote.”

There were 59,774 council race under votes in last week’s election, which is evidence many bullet-voted only their favorites. The number still pales compared to the 2011 general election, when voters filled all 11 initial council slots in one shot and left 254,931 under votes.

• Campaign finance reports have been posted on the election page of the county website,

• County departments are sharing opening and closing responsibilities at county-owned Moon Lake Park in Plymouth Township, which will allow the facility to remain open daily 8 a.m. to dusk through the winter, said Interim Operational Services Division Head Jack Robshaw.

The park will be closed on holidays and during adverse winter weather because county road crews must focus on snow removal on county roads before addressing the park, he said. The park was previously open weekends only during the winter.

• The administration has reclassified several employees because they are handling additional duties, according to a county Manager Robert Lawton’s October personnel report posted on the county website.

Veteran human resources executive secretary Marilynn Allabaugh is now reclassified as a human resources generalist, which has increased her pay from $32,987 to $42,000.

Lawton’s report also lists five promotions in the assessor’s office, along with the old and new compensation: Emily Monelli, administrative assistant/assessment specialist to assessment data analyst, $32,226 to $33,226; Bobby J. Zaremba, clerk II to clerk III, $24,950 to $26,450; and Susan Griffiths, clerk II to clerk III, $33,310 to $34,810. Two others were promoted to higher-grade real property field investigators — Lawrence Defluri, $26,988 to $28,488, and John Mazur, $33,310 to $34,810.

• Mark Zulkoski has been hired as county purchasing director at a salary of $45,000, the report says. The county had been accepting applications for that position since prior director Frank Pugliese obtained a school district job in October 2012.

Four Children and Youth caseworkers also were hired in October at salaries of $31,764: Shawna Williams, Mary Eick, Kayci Konopki and Angela Wombacker.

• The courthouse annex parking lot on River Street in Wilkes-Barre will be closed to traffic through Friday for line painting and construction improvements to the Jackson Street entrance, Robshaw said. Free parking is available at the county parkade on Water Street.

• County council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council meeting room at the courthouse.

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