Last updated: February 20. 2013 2:19AM - 673 Views

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KINGSTON – After reorganizing and conducting some typical business on Tuesday, Luzerne County Transportation Authority officials responded to media inquiries about alleged ghost riders and work on a board member code of conduct and touted an automatic people counter coming to buses soon.

In his report, solicitor Joe Blazosek said that in an approximately 30-minute executive session between the reorganization and regular meetings, he, Executive Director Stanley Strelish and Human Resources Director Renee Craig gave the board an update on some policies that we're talking about bringing forward for action by the board on a broad range of matters. He said the board also talked about duty and scheduling changes with personnel.

When a reporter objected because the state Sunshine Law does not allow policy discussion behind closed doors, Blazosek said the proposed policies' content was not discussed. He polled each member to confirm that.

The only information imparted to the board in that personnel session was that we had some drafts circulated, but nothing definitive, Blazosek said.

He said copies of the drafts are not ready yet, they're works in progress.

At a previous meeting, the board approved Bob Chepalonis' motion to develop a code of conduct, prompted in part by board member Patrick Conway going public with concerns about padding ridership numbers and the alleged improper handling of an employee's sexual harassment complaint without first discussing them with the board.

Questioned on a drastic drop in ridership numbers the day before the issue was brought up at a County Council meeting, new board Chairman Sal Licata said it could be due to any number of reasons, including the weather.

A staffer said automated people counters could be installed on buses as soon as April. Strelish said the board sought bids on the counters two years ago. The counters cost about $628,000 and are part of a larger Automatic Vehicle Locator Program tied to a satellite system being implemented.

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