Performance evaluations are under way in Luzerne County court branches, said county acting Court Administrator Michael Shucosky.
Shucosky said the courts follow their own personnel policy, which says employees should be regularly evaluated. A mass evaluation of all court employees hasn't been completed in about a decade, he said.
Nobody is exempt. The purpose is to have accountability and transparency, ensure the employees know expectations and to identify and correct deficiencies, Shucosky said.
• All county government employees must receive performance evaluations as soon as reasonably possible under the new home rule personnel code.
The timeline is unclear because the evaluation system must be presented to the manager by the administrative services division head, and that cabinet-level position has not been filled.
Insiders say county Manager Robert Lawton is planning to re-advertise the eight division head positions so they may be filled in coming months.
The evaluation plan must include training sessions to guide managers on the use of rating forms and the need for objectivity and professionalism evaluating others, the code says.
• Applications for the county election bureau director position are due Wednesday.
Marisa Crispell-Barber, the county's contracted temporary election manager, is expected to apply for the position. She is scheduled to introduce herself to county council at Tuesday's meeting.
• The county has received 28 applications for the purchasing director position, which was vacated by Frank Pugliese's resignation.
• County Council will take its meeting on the road Tuesday night, meeting at 6 in the Wright Township municipal building, 321 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top.
• Representatives of the authority overseeing the Mohegan Sun Arena will attend Tuesday's meeting as part of council's request for periodic updates from outside boards and authorities.
Council appoints authority members to the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority, and three of the 11 unpaid seats expire at the end of the year. The county hotel tax has provided $22.59 million in capital funding to the authority since 1997.
The authority owes roughly $40 million in principal and interest through 2034 -- $28 million for the original arena construction and the rest for new capital improvements, officials said.
• Council will vote on an ordinance that would create a new five-person county Recreational Facilities Advisory Board. The board must meet at least four times a year to oversee and discuss ways to improve county recreational facilities, including Moon Lake Park in Plymouth Township, the Seven Tubs Nature Area in Plains Township and the Wilkes-Barre River Common recreational area along the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre.
• Council also will vote whether to spend $341,818 in past-borrowed capital funding for hardware and software upgrades purchased from Lightspeed Technologies, Wilkes-Barre. The investment will reduce labor and equipment costs replacing aging desktop computers and servers in coming years, said county Information Technology Director Steve Englot.
His estimates of hardware and labor costs over the next five years are $725,818 with the upgrade and $1.02 million without.
• Lawton briefly sang during last week's county retirement board meeting when the discussion of his workload came up. The administration put in long hours last week completing the 2013 budget proposal.
Workin' in a coal mine ..., he began before Councilman Eugene Kelleher advised him not to sing.
You're in coal country now, said retirement board member John Evanchick, a deputy sheriff.
• Luzerne County Councilman Edward Brominski, who has become more critical of Lawton in recent weeks, expressed his displeasure during a public committee meeting last week over Lawton's decision not to vote in the upcoming general election.
Brominski said council members are registered voters, and they manage the government.
But the head of it isn't registered. One person isn't registered. I find that a little bit ludicrous, Brominski said.
Lawton has said he made a conscious decision not to register because he wanted to be entirely removed from any political process.
• Adults directly assisted by the county Housing Authority have until 4 p.m. Oct. 26 to apply for an unpaid vacant seat on the authority's governing board.
Federal law says at least one of the five authority board seats must be filled by a resident of the authority's public housing or participant of the Section 8 program, but council members recently learned the requirement was never met by prior county administrations.
Applicants will be publicly interviewed by a council committee in early November. Applications are on the authority link of the county website, www.luzernecounty.org.