Luzerne County budget office staffing woes continue

June 9th, 2015 7:15 pm

First Posted: 7/16/2014

Luzerne County’s budget/finance division is losing a key employee as the department prepares a mid-year 2014 financial report and the proposed 2015 budget.

Division Head Brian Swetz told council Tuesday that budget and policy analyst Adam Szumski is leaving for another position outside county government and will wrap up his county employment next week.

The position, which pays $30,000 to $35,000, has been publicly advertised, with the first review of applicants scheduled for July 28.

Swetz has blamed staffing shortages on the office’s delays assembling financial data ParenteBeard LLC needs to complete the county’s 2013 audit, which was supposed to be completed by June 30 under the county’s home rule charter.

Swetz expected the situation to improve with the filling of a vacant senior auditor position last month and a payroll processing clerk’s recent return to work after an extended illness. While the county is proceeding with filling Szumski’s position, Swetz has cautioned new employees generally require a transitional period to get up to speed.

The county’s mid-year report must be presented to council in August, and the 2015 proposed budget is due Oct. 15.

County officials are eager for the 2013 audit because the last audit concluded the county spent $7.4 million more than it brought in during 2012, resulting in a net $3.7 million shortfall after $3.7 million carried over from 2011 was factored in.

To meet minimum qualifications, applicants for the budget and policy analyst position must have a bachelor’s degree with one year of budget-related experience, an associate’s degree with three years of experience or a high school diploma with five years of experience.