Eleven Luzerne County employees hired in May

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - [email protected]
Luzerne County Courthouse -

Luzerne County’s administration hired 11 employees in May, according to county Manager C. David Pedri’s newly released personnel report.

Four of the positions were outside human service branches: Sean Dowd and Joseph Coddington, deputy sheriffs, $27,650; Donna Sipple, 911 telecommunicator, $32,750; and Mary Pliska, district judge clerk typist, $24,202.

The remaining hires: Gus Panagakos, mental health network specialist, $45,022; Stephanie Santana, Ashley Thomas and Sharon Considine, children and youth caseworkers, $36,000; Emily Titus, aging care manager, $32,910; Barbara Thoma, senior center operator, $14,050; and June Williamson, aging department food service worker, $11,688.

• Seven workers left county employment last month, said the report, posted on the manager’s page at www.luzernecounty.org.

Prison correctional officer Robert Judzikowski and probation fiscal technician Debra Polacheck resigned. Aging care manager supervisor Barbara DaSilva retired. Four were terminated — 911 telecommunicators Brittany Chaffee and Wanda Gonzalez, correctional officer Nicholas Corridoni and deputy sheriff David Krape.

• The county administration has met a goal of finding enough properties missed from the tax rolls to cover the $50,000 cost of software purchased to help with the task.

The county has added $8.6 million in real estate to the tax rolls to date using new software from Rochester-based Pictometry International Corp. that detects missed property based on aerial photographs, Pedri told council.

That gain equates to approximately $51,000 in additional county revenue, which does not include receipts for impacted municipalities and school districts, he said. The assessor’s office has reviewed about half of the properties flagged by the software and will devote at least one day a week to reviewing data to find more, he said.

• County Council Chairman Tim McGinley closed last week’s council meeting in honor of Patricia Kopeck, who recently died after a battle with cancer. Kopeck worked in the county payroll department for more than 40 years, officials said.

• A council majority voted last week to introduce a budget amendment that would grant Chief Public Defender Steven Greenwald’s request for an $80,000 reserve transfer to cover the cost of expert witnesses in a death penalty case. A public hearing and final council vote are required for the transfer to proceed.

• County road and bridge crews have been focusing on pothole repairs on county-owned roads in the Back Mountain, including the paving of four miles of Hillside Road in Jackson Township, Pedri told council.

• Council informally agreed at the work session to deposit an unexpected $254,902 unemployment compensation windfall into the 2018 budget reserve, which means it will be applied to deficit reduction if no emergencies arise. Council must approve all expenditures from the reserve.

• Citizen Brian Shiner, a faithful council meeting attendee, offered both criticism and praise at last week’s meeting. He chastised council and the administration for failing to publicly post and hold a public hearing on the proposed capital plan as required by the county’s home rule charter. He commended the administration’s handling of a recent Children and Youth matter that had been reported to him.

Luzerne County Courthouse
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_luzernecountycourthouse.jpeg.jpgLuzerne County Courthouse

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

[email protected]

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.