Last updated: February 19. 2013 4:31PM - 253 Views

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HAZLETON – City council on Thursday night unanimously tabled a resolution approving a four-year contract between the city and the Department of Public Works' Service Employees International Union, Local No. 473, citing budgetary concerns.

Jocelyn Lunney, a union representative, said the proposed contract would result in an increase of 50 cents per hour for union workers.

Councilwoman Karin Cabell said by speakerphone that council appreciated the good work that DPW employees do, but had budgetary concerns about any increase in expenditures.

In other business, council unanimously appointed Ralph Sharp as public transit director. The position was previously filled by Steve Hahn, who was named city administrator earlier this month by Mayor Joe Yannuzzi.

Sharp said he will attend council meetings when needed, just as Steve did.

Council welcomed both Hahn and Sharp in their new positions.

A resolution to retain H.A. Berkheimer as tax collector for the city was also tabled. It was requested representatives be present at the next scheduled meeting to field questions from council members.

Cabell also said she intended to move to amend the resolution to reflect a contract with Berkheimer ending December 2012. Councilman Jack Mundie said this would give the city opportunity to entertain bids from other tax agencies for the 2013 tax year.

In anticipation of proposal for a 2013 budget, resident Dee Deakus requested the proposed budget be available on the city's website.

Hahn said he would inquire of the solicitor as to the legality of this type of presentation of the proposed budget.

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